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  • 26 Feb 2020 11:38 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Telegraph recently published a series of articles about voluntary carbon offsetting. ICROA, Gold Standard and Verra have submitted a joint response to the Editor. We are publishing this letter below.

    Additional responses from Conservation International and Verra in reaction to the articles can also be accessed here:

    Joint letter to The Telegraph:

    Starting on Friday (21 February) and through today you have published a series of articles claiming that carbon offsets cannot be trusted and consumers buying them are being “fooled” into thinking they are contributing to a greener future. This is misleading and potentially dangerous for the future of the planet.

    The allegations of a “wild west” market do not just ignore millions of tons of real, measurable and permanent reductions being made today in greenhouse gas emissions by high-quality offsetting projects around the world, they put at risk the widely recognized contribution to tackling climate change that offsetting has already made and will need to make in the future.

    The programmes that certify and issue the majority of the credits associated with these projects have strict standards that have been developed with input from experts and stakeholders from around the world, and have gone through extensive development processes over the last ten years. As a result of these rules and requirements, all carbon reductions are checked and monitored by independent third-party auditors, and include detailed provisions that account for reversals of carbon stocks, including those caused by illegal mining, as mentioned in the article. The details behind each carbon credit are available online, as are the rules and requirements of the standards that today certify the majority of carbon credits transacted in the voluntary carbon market.

    The members of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) adhere to a strict code of practice that ensures the use of only the most trusted offset standards, ensuring that carbon credits purchased represent real emission reductions that business and consumers can trust. In addition, many of the projects also deliver further benefits, in education, public health and employment.

    The carbon reduction market has matured greatly over the last ten years, and today operates to high standards with rigorous verification. This market has an important role to play in delivering the significant and real reductions in carbon emissions that the world needs, though we recognize that voluntary efforts are only a part of the solution and that proper regulation by governments will be needed to address the growing climate crisis. In the meantime, we encourage consumers and businesses to view our standards to satisfy themselves that the reductions they buy can be trusted.


    Antoine Diemert, Programme Director, ICROA

    David Antonioli, CEO, Verra

    Margaret Kim, CEO, Gold Standard

  • 12 Feb 2020 18:24 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Jonathan Shopley has become the new co-Chair of ICROA. He takes over the position from Gérald Maradan of EcoAct after his two-year tenure.

    Jonathan Shopley is Managing Director at Natural Capital Partners with a focus on the company’s engagement with national and international climate policy development. He joined the company, trading then as FutureForests, as CEO in 2001 to initiate its evolution to a leading international provider of services delivering positive impact for clients in the areas of climate, energy, water, and biodiversity.

    He was one of the founders of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance and the UK’s first All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change; and is a board member of the International Emissions Trading Association. He chairs a community renewable energy cooperative in the South of England.

    Jonathan began his career in South Africa conducting environmental and social impact assessments and designing pollution mitigation programmes for some of the world’s largest mining projects. After settling in the UK in 1983, he joined John Elkington Associates (now SustainAbility Ltd) and worked with leading research organisations and businesses taking early action on sustainable development issues.In the ten years before joining Natural Capital Partners, Jonathan was a Managing Director of the Global Environment and Risk Consulting business of the management and technology consulting company Arthur D. Little.

    Jonathan has a BSc in Civil Engineering and MSc in Environmental Science from the University of Cape Town, and an MBA from the London Business School.

  • 16 Dec 2019 12:39 | Anonymous

    ICROA is pleased to welcome ACT Sustainability as a new member organization.

    Established in 2009 to facilitate the new tradingopportunities arising from the EU ETS, ACT helps businesses worldwide reduce their carbon footprints quickly and cost-effectively through buying and selling environmental commodities for compliance and voluntary purposes. Demand for this service had led the business to grow rapidly in terms of clients, turnover and product range, with offices now located in Amsterdam, New York and Shanghai.

    As the global leader in trading environmental commodities, ACT offers unrivalled choice, service and reliability, offering a diverse international portfolio of certificates and physical energy commodities products. ACT trades certificates for carbon emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as physical biodiesel, feedstock, oleochemicals and oils and petroleum products. Access to a broad suite of environment-related commodities enables companies to satisfy compliance requirements and meet voluntary sustainability goals.

    "We are honored to have been accredited by ICROA, as it allows us to further promote best practices in carbon management and offsetting to support voluntary climate mitigation efforts. Together, with the support of organizations such as ICROA we will continue our growth in environmental markets to achieve a better and sustainable future for all," said Alexandre Treny, Voluntary Carbon Partnerships at ACT Sustainability.

    Sustainable solutions and renewable energy sources play a vital role in corporate responsibility. For many organizations, a well-defined corporate sustainability strategy has become essential to remain competitive. Recognising this, ACT works closely with teams to define the best strategy and creates customized solutions to meet environmental goals for each unique situation.

    ACT Sustainability is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, with offices also located in Paris, France.

  • 09 Dec 2019 14:27 | Anonymous

    On Thursday 5th December ICROA was in Madrid for COP25, where we held our 5th workshop on scaling voluntary action under the Paris Agreement.

    ICROA engaged in this programme of workshops with a broad group of stakeholders from the private and public sector a couple of years ago. Together, participants have the opportunity to discuss key questions for the future of the voluntary market post-2020 under the Paris Agreement and see how to grow the market and raise ambition globally.

    This successful 5th edition - moderated by Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director of Natural Capital Partners - started with the launch of the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets Report 2019 by Forest Trend’s Ecosystem Marketplace in partnership with ICROA.

    Ecosystem Marketplace Director Stephen Donofrio introduced the report , finding that since 2016 emissions reductions from voluntary carbon credits increased 52.6%, representing a 48.5% increase in market value over this period. Issuances (75.7 MtCO2e) and retirements (52.6 MtCO23) of carbon credits have also reached new highs, whilst investments in Natural Climate Solutions are soaring.

    “We’re excited to be launching Ecosystem Marketplace’s 2019 State of Voluntary Carbon Markets Report at ICROA’s COP25 Workshop in Madrid this week. As we’ve closely witnessed these markets evolve over since 2006, in 2018 transactions hit a 7-year high– led by a growing awareness of Natural Climate Solutions. This, and the other results from EM’s 2019 Carbon Survey, speak to how the world is in the present-day gearing up for the official implementation of the Paris Agreement in 2020,” said Stephen Donofrio, Director of Ecosystem Marketplace.

    The encouraging findings reinforced the observations of ICROA in the past year, highlighting that demand in the voluntary market is significantly increasing and there is a significant role for the voluntary market in accelerating climate action under the Paris Agreement.

    Opening remarks and introduction of the report were followed by 4 panelist interventions representing different perspectives in regard to the future of voluntary carbon markets under the Paris Agreement.

    • Jochen Gassner, CEO of First Climate. Jochen presented ICROA’s latest thinking on the critical importance of voluntary action post-2020 and how the market should contribute and evolve during that period. The presentation is available here .
    • Kay Harrison, Climate Change Ambassador for New Zealand
    • Brad Schallert, Deputy Director of International Climate Coordination at WWF
    • David Hone, Chief Climate Change Advisor for Shell
    The very positive trends in the market indicate that more and more entities are deciding to show leadership and respond to the pressing calls for climate action. It is very encouraging to see this confirmed in Ecosystem Marketplace’s latest report. 
  • 18 Jul 2019 19:45 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ICROA is pleased to welcome Enviro-Mark Solutions Limited as a new member organisation. 

    Established as a limited company in 2011, Enviro-Mark Solutions Limited has been the leading provider of environmental certification in New Zealand since 2001 as part of its parent company, Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research.

    Its programmes have ensured that New Zealand companies are benefiting from international best practice, applied science, and effective tools. As a subsidiary of Crown Research Institute, Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research, Enviro-Mark Solutions is government owned.

    Though developed for New Zealand business needs, Enviro-Mark Solutions’ certification programmes currently serve over 400 clients worldwide.

    "Enviro-Mark Solutions is delighted to join the international community setting the standards for voluntary offsetting and to have access to the best practice and expertise that ICROA represents", said Dr Ann Smith, CEO of  Enviro-Mark Solutions Limited

    Enviro-Mark Solutions Limited is based in Lincoln, New-Zealand.

  • 10 Jul 2019 19:08 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ICROA is pleased to welcome the Arbor Day Foundation as a new member organization. 

    The Arbor Day Foundation’s mission is simple: inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. With more than 1 million individual members and corporate partners, more than 350 million trees planted, and a global network of dedicated programmatic partners, the Foundation is the largest nonprofit conservation and education organization dedicated to planting trees. The Foundation accomplishes its impact through several urban forestry, natural forest restoration, disaster recovery, and tree/forest educational and recognition programs such as Community Tree Recovery, Rain Forest Rescue®, and Tree City USA®.

    Specific to the voluntary carbon market, the Foundation specializes in scaling up verified forestry carbon credit projects via reforestation/afforestation. Additionally, it partners with forestry experts who share the same vision and values — including IETA and ICROA members — to craft complete forestry carbon credit portfolios that include avoided conversion (REDD+), improved forest management, and other emerging market-based solutions.

    The Arbor Day Foundation’s vision is to be a leader in creating worldwide recognition and use of trees as a solution complex local and global issues such as reversing climate change, improving water and air quality, stabilizing soil, creating high-quality jobs, and restoring ecosystems. We are excited to be a member of ICROA, a network that shares our vision and understands the role natural climate solutions like reforestation play in removing carbon from the atmosphere. Becoming a member allows us to join forces with leading organizations working to shape future carbon markets and meet targeted goals such as the Paris Agreement. This is a tremendous opportunity to expand our networks, build more dynamic partnerships at a global scale, and create an economy that is in balance with nature and people”, said Jeremy Manion – Carbon Development Manager at the Foundation.

    The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report (SR15) finds that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will require “rapid and far-reaching” transitions in land use, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. Avoiding additional carbon emissions is critical. However, if the ultimate goal is to rebalance the global carbon cycle, this will require taking as much carbon out of the atmosphere as humans put into it. Unless there is a technological breakthrough, natural climate solutions — forests, agriculture, and wetlands — continue to be the only proven way to do that on scale.

    The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS) states that natural climate solutions are climate action strategies that are immediately available, scalable, cost-effective, and can transform the forestry and agricultural sectors of the global economy. Natural climate solutions include strategies for protecting and restoring ecosystems and improving the management of working lands to avoid carbon emissions and activate carbon storage. Along with existing clean energy and other decarbonization innovations, natural climate solutions are essential pathways to stabilize and reverse climate change.

    No silver-bullet solution exists for climate change, and we cannot forget about nature’s role in the total solution. Based on this data and science, the Foundation and its partners believe the time for trees is now.

    The Arbor Day Foundation is based in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.

  • 30 May 2019 19:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ICROA and IETA will be present in Singapore for Innovate4Climate, on June 4-7 2019. On Friday 7 June from 9:30 to 10:30, ICROA will hold a workshop on scaling voluntary action across the private sector beyond 2020, organized jointly with EcoAct and South Pole.

    The workshop will highlight how the voluntary carbon market can thrive under the new architecture of the Paris Agreement. It will explore how voluntary climate action across the private sector can catalyze investments going beyond NDC pledges, to help close the ambition, finance and time gaps.

    This event will be moderated by Jochen Gassner, CEO of First Climate Markets.

    Speakers will include:

    • Renat Heuberger, CEO, South Pole
    • Mathilde Mignot, Portfolio Manager, EcoAct
    • Owen Hewlett, Chief Technical Officer, Gold Standard Foundation
    • Sandeep Roy Choudhury, Head of Origination at VNV Advisory and ICROA Co-Chair


    The session will first highlight the growing leadership and interest from non-state actors to achieve their long term carbon neutrality goals, through the lens of project developers. It will then explore how voluntary action across the private sector can be scaled beyond 2020.

    Some time will be allocated to a general discussion to ensure an interactive participation from the audience.

    We look forward to seeing you in Singapore. For more information on Innovate4Climate, click here to access the agenda.

  • 22 Apr 2019 16:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On April 16th, as part of IETA’s first European Climate Summit in Lisbon, ICROA held an event to explore ways in which offsetting currently intersects and blends with compliance and voluntary frameworks around the world. The session discussed how from pure voluntary action, through voluntary action combined with compliance, through to full compliance at scale, resilient carbon markets have the power to unlock potential and maximize mitigation.

    The event was moderated by Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director at Natural Capital Partners. Speakers included:

    • Jos Delbeke, Senior Adviser, European Political Strategy Centre
    • Jos Cozijnsen, Carbon Specialist, Climate Neutral Group
    • Maria Carvalho, Senior Consultant, Climate Policy & Carbon Pricing, South Pole
    • Emilie Alberola, Director of Research and Innovation, EcoAct
    • Edward Hanrahan, CEO, ClimateCare
    • Karl Vella, Climate Policy Manager, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

    In his introduction, Jonathan Shopley underlined the great momentum across the private sector to move towards net-zero emissions in support of greater global climate action. He mentioned how examples around the world reveal that offsetting increasingly intersects and blends with compliance and voluntary frameworks, providing flexibility and galvanizing further ambition. 

    In a short keynote, Jos Delbeke stated that offsetting by non-state actors should be celebrated as a tool to catalyze and provide critical finance to projects that would otherwise not see the light of day.

    Building up on this statement, Jos Cozijnsen and Maria Carvalho highlighted through case studies in South America and South Africa how carbon credits deliver ambition as key components of local climate regulations. Looking at Europe, Emilie Alberola and Edward Hanrahan described how newly designed domestic frameworks in France and the UK act as climate leadership enablers by encouraging voluntary private sector investments in land use, agriculture and transportation.

    Last but not least – looking beyond domestic frameworks – Karl Vella underscored how major private sector organizations are looking to pool their efforts and increase investments in natural climate solutions in an attempt to provide a response at scale, focused on preserving and reinforcing the role natural carbon sinks. 

    IETA and ICROA prepared a summary of the main highlights from the Summit, which you can find here.

  • 29 Jan 2019 11:49 | Anonymous

    Sandeep Roy Choudhury has become the new co-chair of ICROA. He takes over the position from Ana Aires Carpinteiro of Nexus for Development after her two-year tenure which ended in December 2018. 

    Sandeep is a co-founder at VNV Advisory Services, a social enterprise working with communities & climate change. He is also a director at "Carbon Initiative forum", a non-profit working on climate change awareness. He heads VNV’s ownership on low carbon social development projects such as sustainable agriculture, social forestry, clean cooking, rural energy access and waste management. His work encompasses over 4 million rural households across the South Asia region and over 40 NGOs and implementation partners. He has worked in the carbon markets for over a decade and has extensive experience with Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Voluntary Carbon Reduction (VCR) projects worldwide. He has recently been working with multiple stakeholders for the development of domestic carbon markets across Asia.

    He plays an advisory role to over 100 companies and non-profits for sustainability and climate related affairs. He also holds positions in the board of multiple NGOs across the South Asia region.  Sandeep has over 15 years of industry experience in various fields, with 6 years dedicated to the consulting business. He has a degree in electronics and is a certified auditor for various sustainability standards such as the forest stewardship council and is a certified sustainability assessor by the Confederation of Indian Industries. He also has a fellowship from Salzburg Global.

  • 12 Dec 2018 18:40 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ICROA was in Katowice for COP24, where we held our 4th workshop on increased voluntary action under the Paris Agreement, on Friday 7th December.

    ICROA engaged in this programme of workshops with a broad group of stakeholders from the private and public sector a couple of years ago. Together, participants have the opportunity to discuss key questions for the future of the voluntary market under the Paris Agreement and see how to grow the market and raise ambition globally.

    This successful  4th edition - moderated by Ana Aires Carpinteiro, ICROA co-Chair and Business Development Director at Nexus for Development - started with an update on ICROA’s evolving thinking since the presentation of our Guidance Report on pathways to increased voluntary action by non-state actors published a year ago shortly before COP23.

    Jonathan Shopley (Managing Director at Natural Capital Partners) and Jeff Swartz (Director for Climate Policy & Carbon Markets at South Pole) highlighted the recent evolution of ICROA’s position on future options for maintaining and accelerating voluntary action in a Paris world. Key to this process is to ensure that non-state actors will be in a position to continue to make strong claims after 2020.

    For further details, please click here to access the presentation.

    These opening remarks from ICROA were followed by 4 interventions from:

    • Owen Hewlett, Chief Technical Officer at Gold Standard
    • David Antonioli, CEO of Verra
    • Nancy Meyer, Director of Corporate Engagement at C2ES
    • Wolfgang Obergassel, Project Coordinator at the Wuppertal Institute. Wolfgang presented recent research conducted by the Institute on the contribution of voluntary action to ambition raising. His presentation is available on ICROA’s Voluntary Market Portal and can be accessed here.

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