This RFC is in response to KlimaDAO releasing an ‘alternative standards framework’ to analyze novel carbon certification and offset issuance standards.
Our mission and objectives are focused on enhancing the carbon credit market by fostering transparency. We aim to streamline the carbon credit supply chain to make it as transparent and efficient as possible. We believe this can be achieved by leveraging blockchain technology and improving communication among stakeholders. Rather than merely creating a rewarding environment, the ICR is committed to cultivating a supportive ecosystem, acknowledging the necessity for financing. We are dedicated to simplifying market access by providing a cost-effective, high-volume route via one-to-many relationships. We are confident that our efforts will act as a catalyst for a substantial number of vital climate projects.
We firmly believe that through our collaboration with the KlimaDAO community, we have the capacity to make meaningful strides in the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) and overall climate projects. This collaboration can significantly propel the advancement of the VCM.
About the International Carbon Registry
The International Carbon Registry ( ICR) is a comprehensive GHG program and a climate registry solution relying on web 3 technology offering a range of tools to help to manage climate projects. The ICR serves as a platform for climate projects of any size where environmental integrity is promoted with credibility, consistency, and transparency of quantification, monitoring, reporting, validation, and verification.
ICR recognizes the need to scale and accelerate the decarbonization of the economy, with climate financing for climate projects avoiding or reducing GHG emissions and sequestering or removing GHG from the atmosphere. ICR also recognizes the need to bring prominent technologies and nature-based solutions to light that have yet to establish a methodology according to the CDM or other GHG programs but need the financial support of the emerging carbon markets to be viable. Therefore, the ICR is based on ISO standards, resulting in a more flexible, effective and efficient adoption of innovative climate solutions.
ICR's mission is to build confidence in the carbon market for investors, project developers, corporations, the environmental community, authorities, and the public based on the application of ISO standards. The goal is to facilitate the necessary scaling of the voluntary carbon markets and the underlying climate solutions and utilize the market mechanism for real climate impacts. By that, financing climate projects viable for a fast transition to a low-carbon economy can be accelerated.
Responses to KlimaDAO’s Alternative Standards Framework
How does your standard address the following concerns regarding carbon credit integrity?
“Real: All emission reductions and removals—and the project activities that generate them—shall be proven to have genuinely taken place.”
By applying the ISO 14064-2 standard and complementing it with ICR requirements, we believe that the ICR can serve as a catalyst for innovation in this field, delivering a robust framework for climate projects to follow. The ICR framework is built on the same principles as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), adhering to standards of relevance, completeness, consistency, accuracy, transparency, and conservatism.
Projects must follow the same cycle of design, validation, monitoring, reporting, and verification by a third party. Moreover, the ICR addresses a major pain point in the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM): transparency issues within its registry platform. Instead of solely relying on a distributed database of credits, we allow for a much more comprehensive presentation of project actions. Project proponents can share significantly more information than on conventional platforms, and credit buyers can better understand their contributions through a user-friendly interface.
How does your standard prove that emissions reductions and removals have taken place?
The International Carbon Registry (ICR) sets high standards to make sure that the reductions in emissions and removals actually happen. Our process is built around our strong contracts with different accredited validation and verification bodies (VVBs).
VVBs are crucial in independently assessing implementation of climate projects. They assess each project thoroughly to confirm that the stated reductions in emissions or carbon removals match the real results and are additional compared to the baseline scenario. The ICR works with 12 VVBs around the world, which means that the ICR can truly work across the globe.
Each VVB we work with needs to demonstrate that they are competent and meet high standards. They must either show that they are accredited for ISO 14065 Greenhouse gases - General principles and requirements for bodies validating and verifying environmental information or that they are accredited by a reputable GHG-programs. This ensures that all validation/verification activities are conducted by competent auditors, independent internal review and providing confidence in the results and adding to the trust in the ICR.
ICR makes sure that reductions in emissions and removals are real by using a strict, worldwide network of qualified VVBs. This helps our registry stay transparent, trustworthy, and environmentally sound, which builds trust with proponents, project developers, marketplaces, companies, authorities, and the general public.
Does your standard involve verification via remote sensing technology and/or other digital means?
The International Carbon Registry (ICR) proactively engages in discussions with providers of digital, monitoring, reporting, and vVerification (DMRV) processes. The ICR is currently considering numerous solutions that include employing technologies such as satellite imagery, drones, advanced computing, and other automation systems. As the project progresses, these innovative technologies are anticipated to become vital components of the DMRV process.
However, it's important to emphasize that despite the potential of these technologies to augment efficiency and expand the reach of DMRV processes, they aren't expected to supplant the need for human involvement. ICR maintains a philosophy of balance, promoting a harmonious integration of traditional methods and cutting-edge technologies to uphold the effectiveness and integrity of the DMRV process at the same time VVBs acknowledging accreditation requirements laid upon VVBs and align with their processes.
This balanced approach optimizes the accuracy derived from human monitoring while also leveraging the scalability offered by technological solutions, thus enabling a more robust and comprehensive registry system.
Measureable: All emission reductions and removals shall be quantifiable, using recognized measurement tools (including adjustments for uncertainty and leakage), against a credible emissions baseline. Is this the case with your standard?
The ISO provides a robust standardized approach for establishing baselines, project emissions,
monitoring, quantifying, assessment of leakage, etc. Further ICR requirements are complemented to align with crediting mechanisms, i.e. on additionality, crediting period, eligibility, etc. ICR approves application of methodologies where they provide best practice guidance to demonstrate conformity to the criteria (ICR requirements and ISO 14064-2). ICR also allows proponent to not follow a pre-approved methodology but designing the project by establishing criteria and procedures for monitoring, establish baseline, boundary, etc. without within the project. There the ICR and ISO provide for robust framework on how to develop a project without application of a pre-approved/validated methodology but at the same time conform to the principles of the VCMs. More about ICR requirements here.
ICR Documentation (Gitbook)
And the ISO 14064-2 here.
How is a project baseline determined with your standard?
The ISO 14064-2 states for the baseline:
The project proponent shall select or establish criteria and procedures for determining the GHG
baseline considering the following:
- the project description, including identified GHG SSRs (see 6.3);
- existing and alternative project types, activities and technologies providing equivalent type and level of activity of products or services to the project;
- data availability, reliability and limitations;
- other relevant information concerning present or future conditions, such as legislative, technical, economic, socio-cultural, environmental, geographic, site-specific and temporal assumptions or projections.
The project proponent shall demonstrate functional equivalence in the type and level of activity of products or services provided between the project and the baseline scenario and shall explain, as appropriate, any significant differences between the project and the baseline scenario.
The project proponent shall select or establish, describe and apply criteria and procedures for
identifying and justifying the GHG baseline.
The justification of the GHG baseline should take into account likely future behaviour of the baseline scenario (GHG SSRs) to meet the conservativeness principle (4.7).
NOTE There are different ways of determining a GHG baseline, including based on past and current data. A GHG programme can prescribe other approaches to determine the GHG baseline, such as a performance standard (e.g. benchmark or multi-project) baseline. A GHG baseline can be static (remain the same during the project period) or dynamic (change over time during the project period).
In developing the GHG baseline, the project proponent shall select and justify the assumptions, values and procedures that ensure GHG emissions reductions or removal enhancements are not overestimated.
The project proponent shall select or establish, justify and apply criteria and procedures for
demonstrating that the project results in GHG emissions reductions or removal enhancements that are additional to what would occur in comparison to the determined GHG baseline.
A.3.4 provides guidance on determining the GHG baseline.
In addition the ICR requirements states for the baseline, The baseline scenario represents activities and GHG emissions that are most likely to occur in the absence of the project activity. The project proponent shall select or establish, describe, and apply criteria and procedures to identify, determine, and justify the GHG baseline scenario. The baseline scenario shall be accurately determined so that an accurate comparison can be made between the GHG emissions that would have occurred under the baseline scenario and the GHG emission mitigations achieved by project activities. In developing the baseline scenario, project proponents shall justify assumptions, values, and procedures so that the most plausible baseline scenario leads to a conservative estimation of GHG emission mitigations.
When applying a methodology, the project proponent should establish and describe the baseline scenario according to the applied methodology's requirements and justify any deviations from the methodology.
Project proponents should check that the data needed to determine the baseline scenario are available before attempting to identify the baseline scenario. Available data shall be relevant, reliable, and verifiable and may involve industry, country, regional, and local information. All sources for obtaining necessary information shall be documented.
Should baseline determination be dependent on the methodology applied within your standard, please include those details here.
Please see the above response. The ISO 14064-2 states that the project proponent shall use relevant current good practice guidance. Methodologies are normally considered a good practice guidance. They can however be limiting where innovation may be met by barriers.
However, when applying a methodology, the project proponent should establish and describe the baseline scenario according to the applied methodology's requirements and justify any deviations from the methodology. Any deviations are recorded in the project design and in the registry platform.
Permanent: Carbon credits shall represent permanent emission reductions and removals. Where projects carry a risk of reversibility, at minimum, adequate safeguards shall be in place to ensure that the risk is minimized and that, should any reversal occur, a mechanism is in place that guarantees the reductions or removals shall be replaced or compensated. The internationally accepted norm for permanence is 100 years.
Some technologies offer the remarkable potential for permanence spanning millions of years, whereas others may have shorter durations. However, regardless of the specific permanence levels, our stance remains clear: we must adopt an all-hands-on-deck approach to address the pressing challenges of climate change whilst remaining upfront, honest and transparent about the contributions of each project.
According to ISO 14064-2, project proponents are required to establish and implement criteria, procedures, and methodologies for assessing the risk of a potential reversal of GHG emission reductions or removal enhancements. This assessment includes evaluating the permanence of these measures. While permanence is an important factor, it is vital to recognize that a comprehensive approach to tackling greenhouse gas emissions necessitates embracing all potential solutions, irrespective of their permanence, to effectively address the urgent challenges of climate change.
ICR doesn’t stipulate specifically 100 yrs permanence, this means that projects with shorter or longer guaranteed permanence can be registered. It’s paramount to acknowledge that methodologies and projects registered are primarily avoidance based but removals need to be encouraged so net-zero may ever be achieved. For carbon removal/sequestration projects they need to define the guaranteed permanence in years.
At present, the ICR employs a buffer mechanism, a sort of group insurance, for projects. This serves as a safeguard to compensate for potential reversals. Also, as we move forward, we see potential for private insurance mechanisms to contribute significantly to the system. Private insurance could introduce an additional layer of efficiency and accountability, facilitating better risk management and potentially leading to improved performance and trust in the carbon credit market. As ICR promotes innovation we are open to innovations that enhance the robustness and credibility of our operations, i.e. application of insurance mechanism that is not controlled or managed by the ICR.
How is permanence determined within your standard? How does this differ between supported methodologies within your standard?
As discussed above ICR relies on ISO 14064-2. Where projects following methodologies as a good practice guidance the should follow permanence stipulated.
Does your standard adhere to the internationally accepted norm for permanence (100 years)?
No, see the above discussed arguments on permanence.
Additional: Project-based emission reductions and removals shall be additional to what would have occurred if the project had not been carried out.
Does your standard adhere to the principle of additionality? If not, what measures do you have in place to ensure that finance generated from the sale of offsets under your standard are contributing to the fight against climate change?
The additionality aspect is critical in determining the validity of emissions mitigation activities for offsetting purposes. Without it, there is no assurance that the emissions reductions are truly "additional" to business-as-usual. It is important to note that additionality is not a green or red attribute of a climate project. Some projects may be “more additional” than others, but this does not necessarily mean that less additional projects have less impact in mitigating climate change. The pricing of carbon credits often reflects the degree of additionality, but the credits themselves do not necessarily indicate the level of additionality.
The ICR has established benchmarking criteria for additionality, with projects needing to conform to three levels to be eligible for registration. However, projects may also demonstrate conformity to other levels. The ICR registry labels each project according to its level of additionality based on these criteria. Organizations or individuals looking to offset their emissions through the purchase of carbon credits should be aware of the additionality level of the project they are supporting.
Project proponents shall demonstrate the project's additionality and at a minimum conform to levels 1, 2, and 3. However, the project may demonstrate if it conforms to supplementary additionality levels. When applying a methodology, the project proponent should follow additionality testing guidelines.
For additionality testing, project proponents may apply the latest version of: CDM Tool for demonstration and assessment of additionality; Combined tool to identify the baseline scenario and demonstrate additionality; Positive lists of technologies; or other tools from a recognized origin. For policy additionality, the project proponent shall rely on and refer to the host country's current NDC. Projects are labeled with their additionality levels in the ICR registry platform. See further elaboration on additionality levels below.
ICR documentations - requirement
If adhering to the additionality principle, how is additionality determined under your standard?
ICR defines additionality as a multilevel principle, ranging from Level 1 to Level 5, where these levels are laid out as follows:
Level 1 additionality – ISO 14064-2 GHG emissions additionality
GHG emission mitigations shall be additional to the baseline scenario. ISO 14064-2 addresses additionality as the project proponent shall select or establish, justify, and apply criteria and procedures for demonstrating that the project results in GHG emissions mitigations that are additional to what would occur in comparison to the determined GHG baseline.
Level 2a additionality – Statutory additionality
The project shall implement actions that go beyond statutory requirements. Projects are statutory additional if their implementation and/or operation is not required by any law, statute, or other regulatory framework, agreements, settlements, or other legally binding mandates requiring implementation and operation or requiring implementation of similar measures that would result in the same levels of GHG emission mitigations in the host country.
Level 2b additionality – Non-enforcement additionality
Projects are non-enforcement additional if their implementation and/or operation is subject to statutory requirements that are systematically not enforced and where non-compliance with those requirements is widespread in the host country.
Level 3 additionality – Technology, institutional, common practice additionality
The project shall implement climate actions that are subject to barriers to implementation or accelerate the deployment of technology or activities.
Projects may be technology, institutional, or common practice additional if it faces significant organizational, cultural, social, or technological barriers to implementation, where carbon market incentives are essential in overcoming these barriers. These barriers may be a lack of trained personnel, supporting infrastructure for implementation, logistics for maintenance, and lack of knowledge on practices. The project activity may lead to accelerated technology deployment that would unlikely have occurred otherwise. If an action can demonstrate the promotion of an accelerated deployment of a technology that would otherwise face difficulties and have slower penetration, then it is assumed that the increased rate results in increased GHG emissions mitigations.
Level 4a additionality – Financial additionality I
Projects are considered Level 4a additional if they face financial limitations that can be mitigated by revenues from the sale of carbon credits where carbon credit revenues are reasonably expected to incentivize the implementation of projects or carbon credit revenues important in maintaining the projects' operations' ongoing financial viability post-implementation.
A project is Level 4a financially additional if the project activity results in higher costs or relatively lower profitability than would have otherwise occurred in the baseline scenario.
Level 4b additionality – Financial additionality II
Projects are considered Level 4b additional if they face significant financial limitations that can be avoided by revenues from the sale of carbon credits where carbon credit revenues are the major or only source of revenues and carbon credit revenues are a precondition for the implementation of the project and/or carbon credits revenues are essential in maintaining the project operations and ongoing financial viability post-implementation.
Level 5 additionality – Policy additionality
Projects are considered Level 5 additional if their implementation goes beyond its host country's climate objectives and lies outside the scope of the climate action strategy towards the host country's NDCs.
ICRs criteria of additionality are laid out in section 4.4.1 in the ICR Requirement Document. ICR relies on already established principles, where the additionality principles from CDM and other GHG programs have been used as a reference point. Provision of sufficient evidence for additionality is incorporated throughout ICRs documentation.
Validation of the project is conducted by a VVB as outlined in the ICR Requirement Document. The VVB assesses the project design and monitoring plan for the project's conformity to the eligibility principles and other requirements, i.e., ISO 14064-2 and ICR requirements, and other normative requirements. Additionality is one of the requirements outlined in the ICR requirement document which the VVB assesses during validation.
Independently verified: All emission reductions and removals shall be verified to a reasonable level of assurance by an independent and qualified third-party. ○ How is third party verification undertaken by your standard?
The criteria for validation are ICR requirement document and the ISO 14064-2. VVBs shall follow ISO 14064-3 Greenhouse gases - Part 3: Specification with guidance for the verification and validation of greenhouse gas statements, for validation and verification. The ISO 14064-3 describes in details how validation/verification is planned, executed and completed, and on how independent review is conducted and the final validation/verification opinion is issued. The same applies for verification. The project proponent contracts the VVB directly and independently.
Assuming third party verification takes place by entities outside of your organization, how are such entities evaluated?
An accredited third party performs all validation and verification procedures of projects and impacts, where validation and verification reports are submitted to the ICR. ICR provides the criteria for validation and verification, which are described in ICR requirement document.
Validation and verification shall be conducted according to ISO 14064-3 and ISO 14065. Further, the criteria for validation and verification are ISO 14064-2, ICR requirement document and where applicable the applied methodology. The process of validation and verification shall follow the requirements set out in ISO 14064-3. In the case of deviation from applied methodology or project design description prior to or after project implementation, the VVB shall determine if the deviation is material and affects if the project meets the criteria for the verification or validation of the project. Please see the ICR requirement document section 6, Validation, for a complete description of the validation process, required competence, and requirements regarding the validation report. Further on, see section 2.4.2, Validation of Projects, in ICRs process requirements for a description of the validation process and what documentation is required. Please see the ICR requirement document section 7, Verification, for a full description of the verification process, required competence, and requirements regarding the verification report. Further on, see section 2.5, Verification and Activation of ICCs, in ICRs process requirements for the details of the verification process needed to be granted permission to activate ICCs (or issue ICCs ex-post).
For VVBs to be eligible for conduction validation and verification, they must sign an agreement with the ICR to provide validation and verification services. VVBs shall hold accreditation under either an ICR approved GHG program or accreditation under ISO 14065 by an accreditation body that is a member of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). Moreover, the VVB shall hold accreditation or approval for all appropriate sectoral scopes relevant to the project activities. Verification and validation teams shall meet the competence requirements set out in ISO 14065 and 14066. All reports regarding validation of activities and verification of emissions mitigations are publicly available in the ICR registry platform under each individual project. See www.app.carbonregistry.com
Accreditation of validation and verification bodies, including the sectoral scopes that the VVB is accredited for, is published on ICRs website. Please see VVBs approved by ICR and their accreditation here:
ICR - Validation and Verification
To see VVB’s accreditation and coverage of sectoral scope for validation and/or accreditation, click on the VVB, and you will enter their respective page on the ICR webpage. Please see The ICR requirement document section 8, Validation and Verification bodies, for a description of requirements for VVBs seeking to perform any validation or verification for a project registering with ICR. Further, a full description of the process of becoming an approved VVBs with ICR is available in section 8 in the ICR process requirements.
The ICR currently doesn’t manage an independent accreditation program but relies on the above mentioned accreditation, especially the ISO 14065 accreditation which provides the most recognized framework for accreditation. The accreditation body assesses performance of VVBs regularly to see if they perform according to relevant accreditation program, e.g. ISO 14065. Further, ICR has agreements with all VVBs who are eligible to conduct validation and verification for ICR which specifically allows ICR to conduct periodically assessment on their performance.
Please include additional information related to the verification of emissions reductions and removals under your standard which you see as advantageous to the integrity and climate impact of your projects.
The ICR requires VVBs to follow ISO 14064-3 for validation and verification activities. The ICR registry platform further allows proponents to share more information about their project activities than traditionally. They can share milestones achieved or may even integrate DMRV into the platform which allows for much more trust in project activities and understanding by organizations supporting their implementation and operation with retiring carbon credits.
Unique: No more than one carbon credit can be associated with a single emission reduction or removal as one (1) metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). ○ Do you adhere to the uniqueness principle?
Yes, and we see that by tokenizing carbon credits natively supports the uniqueness principle.
Does your standard support the issuance of carbon credits in units greater or less than 1 metric ton (CO2e)?
Currently, the ICR only supports units in 1 metric ton CO2-e but we expect this may be improved and adjusted with better accounting practices such as fractionalization.
Does your standard support the fractionalization of carbon credits after their initial issuance? If not, would you be open to fractionalization?
At present, fractionalization isn't part of our process. However, ICR is open to considering it if supported with robust arguments. As long as the accounting methods used are sturdy, transparent, and can be audited and easily quantifiable, the actual unit of measurement should not hold significant importance. If breaking down into smaller units provides more opportunities to benefit climate change initiatives, then ICR is willing to welcome such an approach.
##Ex-post vs. Ex-ante
Currently, forward carbon credits issued under Gold Standard’s forestry projects (Planned Emission Reductions), ex-ante Plan Vivo Certificates and Temporary or Long-term CER (t/l-CER) are not considered valid for making environmental claims because they do not meet ICROA requirements on verification and permanence.
KlimaDAO holds the view that any credits utilized for offsetting claims should be ex-post; ergo, no ex-ante credits can be utilized in our Retirement Aggregator.
Does your system allow users to make claims analogous to traditional retirement prior to the final verification of the underlying environmental claim?
No, the system does not allow for retiring credits other than verified credits (Ex-Post). See
elaboration on Ex-Ante issuances in the following question.
If your system facilitates forward or ex-ante credits, how do you ensure that no claims are made on the underlying environmental benefit until after verification and subsequent retirement?
ICR has no objections if organizations want to disclose that they intend to offset emission later by compensating for their emissions by buying ex-ante credits. However, they can’t by default use such credits for offsetting. When ex-ante credits have been verified they are automatically and transparently replaced by an ex-post credit to the then holder of the credit.
The climate acts in a continuum rather than on an annual basis. Claiming carbon offsetting or carbon neutrality on an annual basis, ICR believes makes less sense than focusing on how organizations can contribute towards the Paris Agreement goals by setting targets. This can be done by setting objectives for reductions in emissions and how they may be involved in actions within or outside their defined reporting boundary. Rewarding actions by purchasing ex-post credits or supporting climate actions by buying ex-ante can demonstrate their commitment towards their objectives.
Ex-ante credits are a valuable tool for project owners to use to move their initiatives forward and to some extent correct the imbalance between costs and revenues. They also are an important tool for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to reach their climate objectives. Additionally, the use of smart contracts for implementing forward contracts such as Ex-ante has potential benefits for both investors and suppliers.
ICR is aligned towards the approach on offsetting taken in the ÍST 92:2022 Carbon offsetting: Specification with guidance issued by Icelandic standards. VCMs are essential to support both organizations and nations in acheving objectives and NDCs respectfully.
The ÍST 92 allows for two way approach to offsetting presented in section 5.2.4 of of the standard,
Organization seeking to offset their emissions shall retire carbon credits to offset unavoidable significant emissions that cannot be completely reduced through internal mitigations or supply chain management. The organization may however approach offsetting for remaining emissions with two approaches or combination of both. (See also Figure 1)
Forward compensation: this involves where the organization has projected GHG emissions for coming years and its reduction and mitigation strategy involves removal of GHG emissions within or outside their organizational boundary. The organizations may support climate action directly where they are reimbursed with pending carbon credits. When their impacts have been verified and the carbon credits become active, they shall be retired accordingly. This shall be followed by an annual true-up process to ensure that the number of retired carbon credits is at least equal to actual measured significant GHG emissions subject to carbon offsetting.
Annual offsetting: this involves retiring carbon credits for the claim period.
When organizations approach offsetting with A) they shall not claim carbon offsetting until impacts have been verified and aggregated significant emissions, internal mitigation actions and retired carbon credits net to zero. They may however disclose their strategy towards long term carbon offsetting.
For remaining GHG emissions, that cannot be avoided, the organization shall report carbon credits (Ex-Ante and Ex-Post) purchased or developed for the purpose of offsetting GHG emissions short-term and long-term, the organization shall list such carbon credits (Ex-Ante and Ex-Post) and their retirements separately from GHG reduction initiatives.
The GHG project generating carbon credits being used for carbon offsetting shall be validated, and GHG emissions mitigations verified by independent validation and verification bodies through recognized GHG programs that fulfil integrity principles of carbon credits and/or the requirements set out in section 5.2.7.
Carbon credits shall be retired electronically in a carbon registry. The retirement should be clearly attributed to the carbon offsetting claim and the organization making the claim. The retirement of the carbon credit and the reference to the claim is important to prevent double counting.
ICR believes it is paramount to support climate actions and climate actions means both rewarding climate actions by buying and retiring ex-post credits and supporting climate actions by buying ex-ante credits and use when they mature (are verified). This means distinguishing offsetting claims and compensation claims.
Many projects that issue carbon credits under traditional standards have so-called “co-benefits” associated with their activities, typically classified according to the Sustainable Development Goals. How does your standard assign and quantity co-benefits?
ICR promotes that projects include co-benefits and proponents may disclose publicly how they include and contribute to co-benefits.Unlike some standards ICR has however no requirements for meeting certain additional co-benefit than SDG 13. ICR wants to present a standard where climate actions that may only contribute to SDG 13 can meet requirements and not force proponents to engage in actions that lay outside their scope of expertise.
Irrespective of co-benefits ICR is focused that projects don’t involve net-negative environmental and social impacts. ICR requirements addresses safeguards that the proponent needs to consider and identifying the project's negative environmental and socio-economic impacts and engage with local stakeholders during the project design and implementation of the activities.
The project shall further minimize and, where possible, avoid negative environmental and social impacts. If present, the project proponent shall address all negative environmental and socio-economic impacts arising from the project activities and input received during a consultation with local stakeholders and ongoing communications.
Where applicable, project proponents shall minimize the risk of damage to ecosystems by considering:
- not introducing invasive species or allowing an invasive species to thrive through project activities.
- the use of non-native species over native species and their potential adverse effects.
- the use of fertilizers, chemical pesticides, biological control agents, and other inputs used by the project and their possible adverse effects.
Ultimately the value of any environmental service credit derives from the willingness of an end-user to purchase and consume that credit for its intended end-use (a.k.a. retirement). Traditional corporate buyers, who make up the bulk of current demand for carbon credits, look to industry organizations like the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) or Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) for guidance on which carbon credits are appropriate for their needs. As such, recognition of any new standard by these bodies goes a long way toward indicating the level of acceptance those credits will receive among existing market participants.
Has your system been endorsed by any of the mainstream VCM associations, such as ICROA or CORSIA? If not, are you pursuing such an endorsement?
ICR applied for approval under the CORSIA in 2022. The Technical Advisory Board (TAB) recommended that eligibility decisions regarding ICR should not be taken at the time (December 2022). TAB found that ICR’s procedures, standards, and related governance arrangements that were in place and assessed by TAB in 2022 were partially consistent with the contents of the EUC, for emissions units generated under the programme prior to 1 January 2021.TAB encouraged ICR to re-engage in TAB’s assessment process once it is confident that its procedures are in a steady state and meet all of the EUC. TAB will assess the programme again once changes to the programme procedures are in place and the programme provides such information to TAB in line with a future call for applications.
The TABs recommendations can be found here
The ICR has addressed the comments received during the assessment in 2022 and reapplied in March 2023.
ICR has not applied for accreditation for ICROA recognition yet but will consider application in Q3/Q4 this year.
Have any traditional buyers (e.g. corporates) purchased and retired credits issued under your system? If so, please indicate the estimated volumes retired in the past year. If no retirements have occurred in the past year, please provide an estimate based on current buyer commitments.
To date, the retirement of credits issued under our system has been very low, amounting to under 1000 tonnes. This can be attributed to various factors, including the type of projects involved, limited marketing efforts, change of registry system and a small number of available marketplaces prior to the current registry system deployment in May ‘23. It is important to note that ICR has not directly engaged in sales or pricing of credits, and instead, project proponents have actively pursued bilateral deals with corporate buyers on their own.
Initially, the projects that obtained issuance faced low demand at that time. However, we now have a wider range of projects that possess greater market appeal. Consequently, we anticipate a higher level of interest in these project types in the future as well as the market demand is growing.
Based on the information available to us, we are aware of projects that have sold majority of their ex-ante credits. Furthermore, discussions with other project proponents with projects in pipeline with issuance estimated in millions of credits who are actively promoting their projects will be successful in selling. We remain optimistic that the actual amount retired will be in millions.
#Interest in partnering with KlimaDAO
We are indeed interested in forming a partnership with KlimaDAO. We believe that collaboration is crucial when it comes to addressing climate change. The availability of high-quality carbon credits is essential, and cooperation among all stakeholders is key to making this a reality.
Being a web3 first registry, we also recognize and appreciate the groundbreaking work that KlimaDAO is engaged in. We understand that by aligning our efforts and growing together, we can expedite technological advancements in this field. Thus, we see a potential partnership with KlimaDAO as an especially important step towards accelerating progress in the climate technology space.
Is your organization interested in having credits delivered via your registry/standard supported on Carbonmark?
Indeed, we have a keen interest in facilitating the transfer of credits from our registry to Carbonmark on behalf of our clients. Our aim is to enable project owners to quickly and securely deliver their credits to buyers. An integration with Carbonmark would align well with this objective.