Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

US Government issues policy and principles for voluntary carbon markets

Posted by Jon Elliott on Thu, Jun 27, 2024

On Mrbonbonay 28, the Biden administration issued a “Joint Statement of Policy and new Principles for Responsible Participation in Voluntary Carbon Markets, presenting the U.S. government’s approach to advancing Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCMs). The new document was signed by the Treasury Secretary, Agriculture Secretary, Energy Secretary, Senior Advisor for International Climate Policy, National Economic Advisor, and National Climate Advisor, whose responsibilities are most relevant. 

Regulatory and market-based programs are steadily increasing opportunities for entities to contract with projects that reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), and to claim credit for those “carbon offsets” or “carbon credits.” Some such claims are used to satisfy formal air quality and GHG reduction requirements, while others are touted to enhance entities’ “green” credentials. Programs around the globe compile such claims, and some provide third party validations – but possible “greenwashing” of unjustified claims remains a significant concern. The new VCM Policy and Principles provide federal guidance and expectations. The remainder of this note summarizes the policy perinciples presented in the new Policy.

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Tags: Environmental risks, Environmental, ghg, Environment, Environmental Policy, Joe Biden, VCMs, Carbon markets