The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) published their Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) on 30 April 2023, and The Program-Level Assessment Framework.
The Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) are a global benchmark for high-integrity carbon credits that set rigorous thresholds on disclosure and sustainable development. Developed with input from hundreds of organizations throughout the voluntary carbon market, the CCPs provide a credible and rigorous means of identifying high-integrity carbon credits that create real, verifiable climate impact, based on the latest science and best practice.
In consultation with stakeholders across the market, the Integrity Council has developed 10 Core Carbon Principles which set out the key principles for high-integrity carbon credits:
The carbon-crediting program shall have effective program governance to ensure transparency, accountability, continuous improvement and the overall quality of carbon credits.
The carbon-crediting program shall operate or make use of a registry to uniquely identify, record and track mitigation activities and carbon credits issued to ensure credits can be identified securely and unambiguously.
The carbon-crediting program shall provide comprehensive and transparent information on all credited mitigation activities. The information shall be publicly available in electronic format and shall be accessible to non-specialised audiences, to enable scrutiny of mitigation activities.
Robust independent third-party validation and verification
The carbon-crediting program shall have program-level requirements for robust independent third-party validation and verification of mitigation activities.
B. Emissions Impact
The greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions or removals from the mitigation activity shall be additional, i.e., they would not have occurred in the absence of the incentive created by carbon credit revenues.
The GHG emission reductions or removals from the mitigation activity shall be permanent or, where there is a risk of reversal, there shall be measures in place to address those risks and compensate reversals.
Robust quantification of emission reductions and removals
The GHG emission reductions or removals from the mitigation activity shall be robustly quantified, based on conservative approaches, completeness and scientific methods.
No double counting
The GHG emission reductions or removals from the mitigation activity shall not be double counted, i.e., they shall only be counted once towards achieving mitigation targets or goals. Double counting covers double issuance, double claiming, and double use.
C. Sustainable Development
Sustainable development benefits and safeguards
The carbon-crediting program shall have clear guidance, tools and compliance procedures to ensure mitigation activities conform with or go beyond widely established industry best practices on social and environmental safeguards while delivering positive sustainable development impacts.
Contribution toward net zero transition
The mitigation activity shall avoid locking-in levels of GHG emissions, technologies or carbon-intensive practices that are incompatible with the objective of achieving net zero GHG emissions by mid-century.