Effective 8 March 2011, all projects should use VCS Version 3 requirements. The previous version, VCS 2007.1, may still be used up to and including 8 September 2011. However, all project documents wholly or partially reliant upon the VCS 2007.1 must be issued on or before 8 September 2011.
In some cases, the VCSA may ask a methodology developer to make minor revisions to a methodology. However, all VCS methodologies approved before 8 March 2011 will remain valid until 8 September 2011. If more extensive revisions are required and a methodology must be put on hold, projects may still continue to use the methodology for a grace period of 12 months (for non-AFOLU methodologies) or 18 months (for AFOLU methodologies). The list of methodologies and their status is available on the VCS website.
Where projects are using a VCS methodology, they must use the version of the methodology approved by the VCS. However, where approved VCS methodologies apply or reference VCS Version 3 requirements, projects may apply a methodology deviation to use VCS 2007.1 requirements if the project is validated on or before 8 September 2011.
The definition for project proponent is "the individual or organization that has overall control and responsibility for the project, or an individual or organization that together with others, each of which is also a project proponent, has overall control or responsibility for the project." Correctly identifying the project proponent is crucial in the VCS project registration process because:
The VCS Program makes a distinction between two groups: a) non-AFOLU projects and Agricultural Land Management (ALM) projects focusing exclusively on emissions reductions of N2O, CH4 and/or fossil-derived CO2 and b) AFOLU projects excluding the ALM projects focusing exclusively on emissions reductions of N2O, CH4 and/or fossil-derived CO2. For the first group, the Project Crediting Period is a maximum of ten years, with the possibility to renew this twice. For the second group, the Project Crediting Period is a minimum of 20 years, with a maximum of 100 years.
In order to register under the VCS Program, projects must open an account with a VCS registry operator, complete project validation and submit project documents to the registry operator. The registry operator will check all project documents to ensure due process has been followed and will then request that the project be listed on the VCS Project Database. For more details on registering projects and requesting VCU issuance, see the Project Registration and VCU Issuance document.
Once projects have been validated and their GHG emission reductions or removals verified, a Project Proponent can request issuance of VCUs. The VCS Registry administrator will check all project documents to ensure due process has been followed and will then issue VCUs into the account of the Project Proponent. The project registration process is described in full in the Registration and Issuance Process. This document explains the roles of the various actors and the steps involved in VCS project registration and VCU issuance.
Once projects have been validated, a Project Proponent can request that the project be registered under the VCS. The VCS Registry administrator will check all project documents to ensure due process has been followed and will then request that the project be listed on the VCS Project Database. The project registration process is described in full in the Registration and Issuance Process. This document explains the roles of the various actors and the steps involved in VCS project registration and VCU issuance.
The only entities who can apply to have a VCS project registered and VCUs issued are the project owner or an entity to which the project owner has assigned sole right to the GHG emission reductions or removals for the entire project crediting period, or the Authorized Representative of either of these two entities. The only exception to this is as specified under the grandparenting process described in the Registration and Issuance Process (this document also gives details on Authorized Representatives).
All AFOLU projects are required to conduct non-permanence risk assessments and Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) and Improved Forest Management (IFM) projects are required to conduct market leakage assessments. The outcomes are validated by a VCS Validator (and are subject to the VCS Methodology Approval Process in some circumstances, as described in the AFOLU Requirements) and provide the basis upon which buffer credits are set aside.