The Greenhouse Gas Reduction scheme (GGAS) was a cap-and-trade mechanism designed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of electricity producers, retailers, high emitting industries and facilities. This included power generators, electricity retailers, large energy users (over 100GWh/year) and ‘market customers’ – facilities such as factories that take electricity supply directly from the national grid.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emissions reduction scheme in North America. It brings together nine US states.
The International Standards Organisation has developed a series of standards that specify principles and requirements for organisations involved in greenhouse gas emission reporting. The ISO standards can be seen as guiding protocols providing general guidelines for the development of other programmes or standards.
The ISO standards relevant to GHG emissions are:
The Voluntary Emissions Reduction VER Standard is for carbon offset projects and has been developed by TÜV SÜD (a German based verification company).
A number of project types are elgigible for certification, however like the Kyoto mechanisms (Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation) it excludes nuclear power projects and large hydropower projects over 80MW. Hydropower projects over 20MW must conform to requirements of the World Commission on Dams.
The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) (Version 3, 2011) is a Greenhouse Gas Programme, describing itself as a ‘comprehensive quality assurance system used to account for greenhouse gas emission reductions and credits’. It applies to offset projects in the voluntary carbon trading sector and was established by the Verified Carbon Standard Association (VCSA).
Plan Vivo is a framework that helps communities use their natural resources in a sustainable way, focusing on small-scale forest management and afforestation projects that produce carbon credits as well as benefits to lovelihoods and ecosystems.
The scheme is implemented through projects which are all community-led and produce Plan Vivo Certificates - one certificate being equal to the reduction or avoidance of 1 tonne of CO2 and which are registered and traded on the Markit Environmental Registry.
SOCIALCARBON (Version 5, 2013) is a complementary standard that certifies carbon reduction projects for their contributions to sustainable development. It is applied to lots of different projects that have already achieved certification for their carbon reduction/avoidance activities - from small ones such as income generation intiatives for local communities, to large one including hydroelectric plants.
The aims of the standard are to:
The American Carbon Registry (ACR) has developed a number of standards to validate and verify carbon emissions reduction projects in diverse sectors including landfill gas, fuel switching, methane capture, forest carbon, truck idling, anaerobic digestion, carbon capture and storage, and rural solar power.
The American Carbon Registry publishes standards, methodologies, protocols and tools for greenhouse gas accounting. The 3 standards published to date are:
The EU Emissions Trading System is an international trading system used as a tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions, helping 28 of the EU member states (+ Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) meet their Kyoto emission reductions commitment.
The Gold Standard is a set of criteria for certifying carbon offset projects and the carbon credits that they produce, focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste management and land use/forest projects. In addition, the Gold Standard Foundation are developing methodologies for water certification.