Voluntary Carbon Market

A voluntary carbon market project is similar to a CDM project but it is not regulated by the UNFCCC. There are a variety of different standards that can be applied, dependent on the project type and size. The project developer can select the most relevant standard.

Voluntary Carbon Market standards

The steps of the voluntary carbon market project cycle may differ depending on which VCM standard is applied.  The standard will provide the exact steps.

The timeline for each step of the VCM cycle varies greatly but the process, from PIN writing to registration, typically takes 6 - 12 months.  After registration and commencement of operation of a project, monitoring is often done for one year prior to verification and issuance of Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs).  Typically, verifications and issuances are then completed on an annual basis.


Project eligibility

Project eligibility for the voluntary carbon market depends on which standard is applied.  However, typically, the eligibility criteria are similar to those of the CDM project eligibility criteria:

1. Reduction in GHG Emissions covered by the Kyoto Protocol (CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, HFCs, PFCs)

2. Contribution to Sustainable Development of Rwanda

3. Additionality (demonstration that the project would not have happened without the incentive from carbon credit revenue)

4. Emission reduction must be real, measurable, and long term

5. Sector must be eligible (eligible project types are standard dependent)