The Gold Standard Introduces New Rules for Increased Rigor and Clarity in Carbon Market

Basel, Switzerland, (PresseBox) - The Gold Standard launched an upgraded version of its certification scheme today, which better enforces the principles of additionality and sustainable development in the carbon market. The upgrade responds to increasing market demand for a faster pipeline for premium carbon offset projects.

The Gold Standard is the world's most rigorous certification scheme for voluntary and compliance carbon credits, accepting only renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that actively promote sustainable development. The Gold Standard Foundation is endorsed by over 60 non-governmental organizations worldwide.

The Gold Standard Version 2 (GSV2) combines the certification requirements for the voluntary and compliance market into a single manual, and introduces a separate "Toolkit" with examples, templates and detailed guidelines for project applicants. The GSV2 improves the transparency of the validation and verification process; requires project validators and verifiers to make site visits, streamlines Gold Standard specific documentation into fixed templates and aligns terms with the UNFCCC.

Substantive changes to the GSV2 include more specification on additional eligible project types within the renewable energy and energy efficiency sector and improved sustainable development criteria aligned with the Millennium Development Goals and UN Safeguard principles. In addition, the GSV2 offers guidance on Programme of Activities projects in the voluntary and compliance market, as well as details on how to submit new VER methodologies.

Main Sponsors for the GSV2 include First Climate, JPMorgan Climate Care, OneCarbon, TFS, and Tricorona. Supporting Sponsors include BNP Paribas, Essent Trading, myclimate, Southpole Carbon and WWF UK. The GSV2 was developed by Ecofys, a leading knowledge and innovation company in the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change, in cooperation with Field and TüV SüD.

Claudia Doets, project leader of the upgrade and CDM specialist at Ecofys remarked:

"This upgrade consolidates the Gold Standard's position as a leading voluntary standard. At Ecofys we have worked hard to improve on the first version - cutting back on red-tape whilst all the time ensuring that the checks and balances are strengthened."

Gold Standard Version 2 is valid from 1 August 2008. Projects that request the Gold Standard applicant status by uploading an Initial Stakeholder Consultation report or apply for retroactive registration before 1 September 2008 will still be able to use Version 1. The Gold Standard Version 1 and all corresponding documentation will expire after 1 September 2008.

Market support for GSV2

Lucy Mortimer, Global Manager, CDM & JI Business " TFS Green are long time supporters of the Gold Standard, so we're delighted to be sponsoring the new Handbook. We hope it will make it easier to structure high-quality projects that comply and may be awarded the Gold Standard, raising the bar for projects, and encouraging premium prices for projects that need and deserve them."

"It is truly remarkable that the Gold Standard Version 2 continues to be as rigorous in ensuring the integrity of a GHG reduction project while at the same time simplifying and streamlining guidelines to reduce unnecessary transaction costs," commends Dr.

Sascha Lafeld from First Climate. "Given the excessive demand for high-quality credits in the voluntary as well as the compliance market, First Climate is proud to be a main sponsor of such an important and timely initiative from the quality leader in the carbon market."

Alain Schilli, Vice Managing Director at myclimate: "Both in the voluntary and in the compliance market the Gold Standard has been setting the benchmark in terms of sustainability, reliability and therefore quality of carbon offset projects. The further development and clarification of the guidelines and procedures will guarantee an even more transparent and efficient project cycle and assure the continuing premium character of GS credits."

About The Gold Standard

The Gold Standard for the international compliance and voluntary market is a NGO initiative. The Gold Standard provides a set of tools to develop emission reduction projects that result in real, additional emission reductions, promote the transition to sustainable energy systems and secure both local and global sustainable development benefits. Projects applying the criteria are awarded with the Gold Standard label for premium quality carbon credits. To date, over 60 NGOs internationally have endorsed the Gold Standard as formal supporters, including David Suzuki Foundation, Pembina Institute, WWF, REEEP, Greenpeace, and SouthSouthNorth. Informal support has been expressed by both business and government organisations.

For more information visit www.cdmgoldstandard.org for the launch documents on the web

About Ecofys (www.ecofys.com)

Ecofys is a leading knowledge and innovation company in the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change. It delivers research and service solutions from product development to implementation management. Ecofys' clients are energy companies, financial institutions and corporate businesses, governments and local authorities, international institutions, project developers, housing associations, building companies and energy consumers around the world.

Ecofys is part of Econcern, whose mission is: 'a sustainable energy supply for everyone'. Econcern, which employs around 1,000 professionals in 20 countries across the world, was ranked No. 234 in Europe's top 500 listing of high growth, job-creating companies in 2007.

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