The IC-VCM’s Core Carbon Principles are a key step forward

a person in an orange vest measures a massive tree.
Ancient forest Conservancy Forest Manager Kyle Smith measures trees in an old growth forest at the Ellsworth Creek Preserve in Washington. © Chris Crisman

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On March 30, the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets (IC-VCM) released the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs), a global benchmark for high-integrity carbon credits that set thresholds on disclosure and sustainable development.

Below is a statement from TNC’s Managing Director of Carbon Markets, Campbell Moore:

The science is clear that there is no path to reach global climate goals without unlocking the power of nature through Natural Climate Solutions now. The voluntary carbon market can be an essential strategy for scaling up these solutions in tandem with ambitious decarbonization of readily abatable emissions. That is why TNC is committed to advancing carbon markets and helping to fix the issues that often hold the voluntary carbon markets back from unlocking massive investment in biodiversity conservation, local communities, and Indigenous Peoples around the world.

As members of the IC-VCM’s Distinguished Advisory Group, TNC has been supportive of the IC-VCM’s mission to build integrity since the beginning. We welcome the release of the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs), which add value to the carbon markets, particularly regarding social and environmental safeguards to ensure mitigation activities conform with or go beyond widely established industry best practices; transparency in how carbon projects calculate benefits and share revenue with local communities; and measures of contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The CCPs mark real progress. However, a lot of work remains to make these principles actionable, as critical details regarding the fundamental principles of carbon projects (additionality, permanence, etc.) have not yet been released. In the coming months, the IC-VCM will release the more detailed, category-level requirements that will determine approved crediting programs and credits. TNC intends to stay involved throughout this process. In addition to working with the IC-VCM, we will continue building a global portfolio of best-in-class projects, developing ground breaking methodologies to improve quality, and advancing cutting-edge science to resolve key questions. Through all of this we are committed to a culture of learning.

Climate change is a crisis, and inaction is not an option.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 70 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.