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In Progress


  • Rule Updates & Clarifications
In case of any review raised after 5th June is the old submission still valid or new VVS version is applicable?

We look into the contractual obligations in this case. When was the contract signed and when was actually the completion of the validation or the verification? If it’s actually signed before the publication date, then 0 requirements continue.

  • New Core Requirements
What to do if a project deviation request (Extension Request and Retroactive Crediting) is rejected under the Covid Measures whilst another project in the same PoA was previously accepted on the same ground and justifications?

The deviations are granted on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on project-specific situation(s). Approval of a deviation request for one VPA does not automatically extend the decision to other VPAs. Hence, we would request you to please contact us directly at help@sustain-cert.com with details on the deviation and we can guide you better on your query then.

How would this apply to existing PoA’s in which no real case VPA is identified and contains multiple VPA’s?

The POA requirements version 2.0 only applies to new POAs submitted after August 2022. Existing POAs designed and certified under POA requirements version 1.2 and their VPAs will follow the Version 1.2 requirements only. It is only at the time of CP renewal of the POA, CMEs can apply the new PoA requirements.

Is ER sheet and SDG tool submission required at PoA level?

Please be informed that as per SDG Tool Update, the SDG Impact Tool is to be used by all GS4GG projects/VPAs and CPAs, irrespective of their scope, type, and scale. https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/standards/RU_2022-The-SDG-Impact-Tool_v2.pdf

Also is conducting LSC is mandatory before the preliminary review submission or we can indicate this transparently in the initial GS PDD submitted for Preliminary review, that LSC will be conducted during the course of project validation and can save some time for the project formal registration?

A stakeholder consultation is mandatory to be completed before submission for preliminary review.

Does that mean no documents are to be submitted for preliminary review in the SC app for regular VPAs ?

Please be informed that the new PoA requirements version 2.0 only applies to new POAs submitted from August 2022 onwards. Existing POAs are already designed and certified under POA requirements version 1.2 and their VPAs follow the older process itself. For regular POAs of new POAs submitted under POA requirements, version 2.0 are only exempted from preliminary review.

What about Afforestation Projects: Do they still have to undergo crediting period renewal every 5 years, thus at the same time as verifications (as verification intervals with A/R projects are 5 years)?

The new POA requirements apply only to new POAs which are submitted. POAs that are already designed and certified will follow the older version of the POA requirements which is version 1.2. All the inclusions will also take place as per the POA requirements version 1.2, meaning the inclusions have to follow the traditional process. This includes a preliminary review, a compliance check by the VVB, and an inclusion review by SUSTAINCERT.

Is there any particular order for creating project pages on the Sustaincert platform for Regular and Real case VPAs of a PoA?

Under the new hierarchy, you will be requested automatically on the SC platform to create a PoA with associated real case VPA and regular VPA – as opposed to only VPA in the previous hierarchy. A real case VPA is directly linked to the PoA. A regular VPA is directly linked to the real case VPA.

Can you clarify if the “real case VPA” is on-ground implemented activity or is this similar to what existed as “Generic CPA” in CDM days?

A real case VPA is an actual activity implemented/proposed to be implemented under a PoA that sets out a specific regulatory and design framework to be followed by similar regular VPAs. It is distinguished with other real case VPAs based on aspects like technology/measure types, host country, end-user type, etc. See the PoA requirements, definition section, as well as section 8, PoA certification cycle and procedures

Could you clarify the exemption of Preliminary Review for regular VPAs?

According to PoA requirements section 8.2 any regular VPAs, corresponding to a design-certified real case VPA may be submitted for validation and/or inclusion review without preliminary review.

We understand that real-case VPA is an actual activity implemented/proposed to be implemented and Regular VPA is identical to real case VPA. In that case, could you please clarify what would be the difference between real case VPAs and regular VPAs where a PoA has only 1 real case VPA with 1 technology.

A PoA shall have at least one Real Case VPA, but may have no regular VPAs. If only one project is to ever be implemented, it might be better to certify it as a stand-alone project rather than a PoA. PoAs are meant for situations where several similar projects are implemented.

How many verifications can the same VVB can perform on the project? In other words, when do we have to change at some stage?

The same VVB may perform all the verifications of a crediting period, and even a project. There are specific rules on changing a VVB, or at least the auditors, between validation and verification. This can be found in the Rule Update on Validation and Verification by the Same VVB. https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/ru-2020-validation-and-verification-by-same-vvb/

Please clarify Preliminary Review Exemption for projects.

The requirements can be found in the Rule Update on Preliminary Review Requirements and Procedure. In some cases, regular VPAs are also exempt from preliminary review. This is stipulated in section 8.2.2 of the PoA requirements. https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/ru-2022-revision-to-preliminary-review-requirements-and-procedure/

We had conducted stakeholder meetings but did not give one month’s notice and did not specifically invite NGO’s.  Should we conduct the meeting again or would it be sufficient to invite the NGOs to visit the site and submit the report to GS.

In such a case, the VVB shall assess if any proactive measures were undertaken by the PD, so they can reach out to the relevant NGOs for the stakeholder consultation or not. After consideration of the project-specific situation. ie. any ongoing grievances from stakeholders, any major environmental concerns due to the project, etc, the VVB can provide their assessment if additional consultation can be done or if the entire consultation needs to be repeated. https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/t-clarification-request-form/

Can we start the inclusion process of the new real case and regular VPA before the PoA reaches Design certification please? Or can we start after the listing of the PoA?

No, the PoA needs to be design certified before inclusions can start. Please see section 8 of the PoA requirements

  • Methodology Tool Update
I have some concerns with the beef cattle methodology. Meat demand is highly price elastic. How should we deal with the risk that this results in cheaper beef and thus more demand, or even promote a switch from plant-based alternatives with a lower carbon footprint (i.e. when this beef is marketed as low carbon)? Is it still possible to comment on this meth?

Thank you for your feedback. If you would send your concerns to help@goldstandard.org, they would be addressed by the relevant experts.

How long would take to review the rice methodology?

We are doing our best to create a new version that addresses all environmental integrity issues and is easier to use. We hope it will be published within a few weeks.

  • GS New Methodologies
What are the timelines looking like for the new meths in “Draft Development” to go in “stakeholder consultation”?

The procedure for methodology development is being reviewed and a new version will be published shortly. In general, this timeline depends very much on the complexity of the methodology, the experience of the methodology developer with GS or other caron accounting methodologies, availability of experts to review the methodology, etc. It may generally take anywhere between 3 months and 1 year.

At SustainCERT we hope you found the session informative and valuable. Remember, if you have any questions or would like further information, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at help@sustain-cert.com.

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