VCSA launches global registry and project database system

17 March 2009

New VCS Registry System to boost carbon market integrity and growth

The Voluntary Carbon Standard Association (VCSA) has today launched its revolutionary global registry and project database system.

The VCS (Voluntary Carbon Standard) Registry System is the first multiple registry system to launch in the $330m voluntary carbon market. The new global registry system, which includes the VCS Project Database, ensures all carbon credits generated under the VCS - Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) - can be tracked from issuance to retirement. It is a key part of the VCS Program which ensures that all VCUs are real, measurable, additional, permanent, independently verified, unique and traceable.

Three international companies are contracted to act as registries for the VCS Program: APX Inc. (a leading environmental market infrastructure provider in North America), Caisse des Dépôts (a leading French financial institution and developer of CO2 registries in Europe), and TZ1 (a leading international financial markets metaregistry in the US, UK and Asia Pacific). VCS Registries will issue, hold, transfer and retire VCUs representing one tonne of greenhouse gas reduction or removal.

The registries will interact directly with the VCS Project Database, which can be viewed publicly, to upload project documentation and obtain unique serial numbers for each VCU. Together, the infrastructure provided by the global registries and the database provides a transparent, robust and scalable chain of custody for the voluntary carbon market.

David Antonioli, CEO of the VCS Association (VCSA) says: "Our ground-breaking new registry system delivers the kind of carbon offsets demanded by the market and provides a cast iron environmental and financial guarantee for all VCS buyers. Building a multiple global registry system in the current climate has been ambitious and challenging, but we have listened hard to what buyers want, strengthened the system, and are confident we have got it right."

The VCS Registry system incorporates some unique features, including:

. The opportunity to expand the number of participating registries in the future, providing a truly scalable system

. A robust legal framework

. A state-of-the-art central project database system which publicly posts all key project documentation and ensures all VCUs in the system are unique

. Inter-registry transfers (a planned feature) that will save buyers from having to open multiple accounts

. Multilingual language support

Mark Kenber, Chair of the VCSA and Policy Director of The Climate Group says, "The new registry embodies the VCS's commitment to transparency, innovation and environmental and financial integrity. Credits verified under the VCS are attracting growing interest from US buyers because of their high quality, affordability and potential fungibility with any future US cap-and-trade system. The robust legal framework and infrastructure will further underpin buyer and public confidence in the market and in carbon as a tradable commodity."


Brian Storms, Chairman and CEO of APX Inc says: "We continue to see a 'flight to quality' in the marketplace as the high quality standards we serve, such as the VCS Program, continue to gain strong adoption despite the economic downturn. The launching of the VCS Registry will serve to strengthen not only the VCS program, but a robust worldwide carbon market as well."

Serge Bernou, Head of Carbon Finance, Caisse des Dépôts says: "This global registry system puts carbon markets on a level footing with other financial services. We will provide our solidity and safety to the VCS system."

Helen Robinson, CEO, TZ1 Registry says: "The carbon markets now have the right infrastructure to seamlessly interoperate with the financial markets, lending assurance and confidence to both buyers and sellers of VCUs."

The launch of the registry is another boost to the growing popularity of the VCS (which represented a third of the voluntary market in 2007) and the innovative new system has already been welcomed by project developers and end-users alike.

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