On July 23, 2009, the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) Association announced that it will no longer require projects located in Canada to demonstrate that Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) issued to the project would cancel out a corresponding number of compliance units under the Kyoto Protocol, known as Assigned Amount Units (AAUs). This requirement eliminates the risk of double counting that occurs when a project in a particular country sells emission reductions and thus "frees up" AAUs that the government can then sell.
"The VCS Board concluded that this requirement is not applicable to Canada because there is no regulatory framework to implement the Kyoto Protocol, none is likely to emerge, and the country is unlikely to achieve its Kyoto Protocol reduction commitment," the VCS reported.
To date, Canadian projects have not been able to generate VCUs. The action is expected to enhance access to global carbon finance markets and provide incentives for the development of, and investment in, GHG reduction and removal projects in Canada.
The VCS is an internationally recognized standard for voluntary carbon offsets, providing a framework with additionality and baseline-setting requirements, as well as a registry system for buyers and sellers to track VCUs.