On May 28 2024, the Biden administration released the “Voluntary Carbon Markets Joint Policy Statement and Principles”.

The Joint Statement makes a number of important and supportive points in favor of the VCM, noting that:

  • High-integrity VCMs, as well as carbon credit markets more broadly, have the potential to support decarbonization efforts within the United States and globally.
  • Important questions have emerged about how to ensure that VCMs genuinely drive additional decarbonization action (rather than reward what would have happened anyway) that is sustained over time and does not simply shift emissions elsewhere.
  • Fully achieving the potential of these markets requires further action to address challenges that have emerged.

The principles set out in the Joint Statement (the “Principles”) will guide how the US Government engages with VCMs. Through the Joint Statement, the US government encourages the US private sector and other stakeholders in the carbon credit value chain to responsibly participate in the VCM market, consistent with the Principles (see further below). While the focus of the Joint Statement is on VCMs, much of the content speaks to the development and operation of carbon credit markets more generally.

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