What are the eligibility criteria for carbon credits?
Although each methodology has its own unique characteristics, all frameworks must comply with the eligibility criteria based on the Core Carbon principles. These principles include:
Additionality: The mitigation activity must result in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions or removals that are additional, meaning they would not have occurred without the incentive created by carbon credit revenues.
Mitigation activity information: The carbon-crediting program must provide transparent and comprehensive information on all credited mitigation activities. This information should be publicly available in electronic format and accessible to non-specialised audiences.
No double counting: The GHG emission reductions or removals from the mitigation activity must not be double-counted. They should only be counted once towards achieving mitigation targets or goals, and not be subject to double issuance, double claiming, or double use.
Permanence: The GHG emission reductions or removals from the mitigation activity must be permanent. If there is a risk of reversal, any reversals must be fully compensated.
Program governance: The carbon-crediting program must have effective program governance to ensure transparency, accountability, and the overall quality of carbon credits.
Registry: The carbon-crediting program must operate or use a registry to uniquely identify, record, and track mitigation activities and carbon credits issued. This ensures credits can be identified securely and unambiguously.
Robust independent third-party validation and verification: The carbon-crediting program must have program-level requirements for robust independent third-party validation and verification of mitigation activities.
Robust quantification of emission reductions and removals: The GHG emission reductions or removals from the mitigation activity must be robustly quantified using conservative approaches, completeness, and sound scientific methods.
Sustainable development impacts and safeguards: The carbon-crediting program must have clear guidance, tools, and compliance procedures to ensure mitigation activities conform with or go beyond widely established best practices on social and environmental safeguards while delivering on net positive sustainable development impacts.
Transition towards net-zero emissions: The mitigation activity must avoid locking in levels of emissions, technologies, or carbon-intensive practices that are incompatible with achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century.