Verified Carbon Standard Program

verified carbon standard

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program was developed by the non-profit corporation Verra. As for now, it is producing most of the world’s carbon credits with the original name Verified Carbon Units (VCUs). At the time of writing VCS has produced 1.1 bln VCU from 2000+ climate projects in 88 countries.

Requirements for the VCS climate project certification:

  • following the rules and requirements of the VCS Standard;
  • independent auditing by both Verra staff and qualified third parties. This process ensures that the project adheres to the standard’s regulations and requirements, correctly applies its methodologies, complies with local laws and regulations and does not negatively impact local stakeholders.
  • accounting methodologies which provide comprehensive guidelines and scientifically reviewed formulas for accurately quantifying the greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of a project. These methodologies outline detailed procedures and specific emission reduction formulas tailored to different project types and their respective activities.
  • registry system. All information pertaining to VCS projects is stored and made publicly available through the Registry System. The Verra Registry serves as a platform that tracks and records the generation and retirement of Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) associated with these projects.

Main steps in developing climate project to generate VCUs

  1. Selecting a suitable methodology for the proposed project. This can be an existing methodology within the VCS framework or one developed under an approved greenhouse gas (GHG) programs – the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Climate Action Reserve (CAR). Project developers have the option to propose their own methodology if an applicable methodology does not exist, 
  2. Creating an account and submitting all necessary documents to the Verra Registry. 
  3. Preparing a draft project description using VCS Project Description template and submits it for pipeline listing. Once listed on the pipeline, the draft project will undergo a thirty-day public comment period.
  4. Finalizing the comprehensive project description using VCS Project Description template
  5. Validation by an approved validation/verification body (VVB) to assess climate project compliance with all VCS rules and requirements. 
  6. Submitting the climate project for registration.
  7. Project proponent monitors and measures GHG emission reductions or removals for a defined monitoring period, creates the monitoring report . VVB verifies report  and proponent submits it to VCS Program for verification approval.
  8. submitting an issuance request to receive Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) in the VCS Verra Registry

Options for carbon credit owner:

  • Hold: The owner can choose to retain the carbon credits without taking any immediate action.
  • Sell: The owner can sell the carbon credits on the marketplace or through a broker to interested buyers.
  • Retire: The owner can use the carbon credits to offset his own carbon footprint or meet sustainability goals.
  • Transfer: The owner can transfer the carbon credits to another party or organization for their use or benefit.

Option for using VCU in other standards or in compliance markets

VCU carbon credits can be labeled for using in other standards or in compliance markets.

Assistance in the implementation of the Verified Carbon Standard climate project

To create and implement climate projects project proponents can hire project developers. Examples of companies:

C-Quest Capital

South Pole


Verified Carbon Standard finances

There are three categories of fees in implementing Verified Carbon Standard climate projects:


Verra Website


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