Last updated:
May 24, 2024


What is a Methodology in voluntary carbon market?

Methodologies in the voluntary carbon market act as comprehensive procedures that guide the calculation, reporting, and verification of carbon credit projects. These guidelines are crucial for maintaining the integrity and transparency of carbon markets, providing a standardised approach to quantifying the environmental impact of projects. This ensures that carbon credits are backed by real, measurable, and verifiable reductions and removals.

Developing and Approving Methodologies

Key players in the development of methodologies include established organisations such as Verra, Gold Standard, and Cercarbono, among others. These bodies rigorously review and develop methodologies to meet strict criteria for environmental integrity. The incorporation of international standards, notably ISO 14064 and ISO 14065, ensures methodologies align with global best practices in carbon accounting and verification.

Challenges and Considerations

While methodologies provide a solid foundation to uphold the integrity of carbon markets, they are not without challenges. The need for periodic updates to reflect technological advancements and new scientific insights is crucial, and failure to do so can result in outdated, and potentially inaccurate, methodologies. This requires stakeholders to stay informed about the latest developments and critically evaluate the methodologies applied to carbon credit projects. These challenges have led Senken to implement a rigorous due diligence process that allows less than 3% of projects pass.

Senken's due diligence process for selecting high quality carbon credits

Examples of Methodologies

  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Methodologies offer a framework for emission reduction projects in developing countries. Many new methodologies expand on CDM methodologies.
  • Verra's VCS Methodologies cover a wide range of sectors, ensuring projects contribute to verifiable emission reductions with environmental integrity.
  • Cercarbono supports projects across various sectors, emphasising contributions to the SDGs and aligning with global climate goals.
  • American Carbon Registry (ACR) methodologies offer detailed protocols for forestry, renewable energy, and methane capture projects, emphasising rigorous GHG reduction quantification.
  • Climate Action Reserve (CAR) focuses on North American projects, with methodologies that include urban forestry and livestock projects, showcasing the diversity of applicable sectors.
  • Plan Vivo provides methodologies tailored towards community-led land use projects, emphasising the role of indigenous and local communities in climate action.
  •, specialising in carbon removal credits, has developed unique methodologies for biochar, direct air capture, and carbon sequestration in building materials, highlighting the market's innovation towards negative emissions technologies.

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