Gold Standard for the Global Goals

Requirements & Guidelines for the Transition of Projects from Previous Versions of the Standard

 

Version 1.1 – Published March 2018

Table of Contents

GOLD STANDARD FOUNDATION VISION & MISSION

PREFACE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

2.0 TIMELINES

3.0 REQUIREMENTS

4.0  DOCUMENTS

5.0  MICROSCALE PROJECTS

6.0 PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES (including microscale PoAs)

7.0 CDM LABEL PROJECTS

GOLD STANDARD FOUNDATION VISION & MISSION

OUR VISION: Climate security and sustainable development for all.

OUR MISSION: To catalyse more ambitious climate action to achieve the Global Goals through robust standards and verified impacts.

Status of Document: Version 1.1 – Effective 1st March 2018
Language: English
Contact Details: help@goldstandard.org

www.goldstandard.org

Next planned update: 02nd September 2019

PREFACE

This Guideline document, hereafter ”the Guideline”, is intended to function as part of process within the Gold Standard for the Global Goals Framework with the specific intention of enabling projects from previous versions of the Standard to transition to Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG).

The Guideline is designed to be read in conjunction with the Gold Standard for the Global Goals Principles & Requirements. Through conformity to these Guidelines and Gold Standard for the Global Goals Principles & Requirements a Project may transition to Gold Standard for the Global Goals and certify multiple products.

The Guidelines provide requirements as to how projects under GSV2.2 (or previous versions), WBS or A/R and Agriculture 0.9 shall transition to GS4GG and sets the timelines to do so.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 This document provides the requirements to transition projects from previous versions of Gold Standard to GS4GG. With the exception of projects with little time remaining on their registered crediting period, all the existing Gold Standard Projects registered with previous versions of the standard are required to transition to GS4GG within specified timeframe and shall fulfil the requirements as set out in this document and those referenced or associated.

2.0 TIMELINES

2.1  All Gold Standard Registered or Issued projects, irrespective of the version of the Standard with which they were registered, shall transition to GS4GG. This shall take place from the 01st March 2018, with next verification/Performance Certification or next renewal of crediting period (whichever is earlier) that will start [1] after this date.

2.2  All Gold Standard Registered Projects with fixed 10 year crediting period shall also transition to GS4GG at next verification, as above, if they have more than 24 months left in the crediting period at time of launch of GS4GG. Projects with a 7 year renewable crediting cycle with less than 24 months remaining on current cycle shall transition at next Renewal of crediting period.

2.3  Existing A/R Projects shall transition at the next available Verification, as above.

2.4  Projects that are under listing or validation process at time of launch of GS4GG can therefore progress to registration with applied version of the standard but shall transition to GS4GG at time of first verification after 1st March 2018.

3.0 REQUIREMENTS

3.1 Any additional monitoring requirements identified as part of review of transition documents will be applicable to projects from subsequent monitoring period.

3.2  All projects after transition to GS4GG shall comply with annual reporting requirements defined in section 3.4.9.1of Gold Standard for the Global Goals Principles & Requirements.

3.3 Transition projects renewing their crediting period under GS4GG follow the crediting period renewal guidelines as defined under GS4GG notably the requirements to demonstrate Ongoing Financial Needs (OFN) and review baseline, if applicable.

3.4  Transition projects renewing their crediting period under GS4GG shall maintain their existing crediting cycle and maximum crediting periods upon transition to GS4GG, specifically as follows:

  • A 10 year fixed crediting period project shall retain the balance of its 10 year period post-transition.
  • A 7 year renewable project shall maintain the balance of its existing crediting period upon renewal. Its future renewals shall take place as per a 7 year cycle instead of 5 as envisaged under GS4GG, up to the maximum 21 years.
  • A/R Projects shall continue as per the existing 5 year cycle.
  • For PoAs any VPA submitted within the first crediting period (i.e., 7 years) of the PoA shall be allowed to use the same 7 year, twice renewal model. All VPAs/CPAs submitted after the first crediting period of PoA shall apply the GS4GG Certification Cycle (i.e. 5 year renewals).

3.5  Transition of a project to GS4GG during the ongoing crediting period will not affect its eligibility under the standard, applicability of applied methodology and additionality already demonstrated.

3.6  Transition projects can benefit from flexibility of using same GS-VVB (hereafter VVB) for validation and verification under specified conditions.

3.7  Transition projects can benefit by stacking new Gold Standard Certified Impact Statements or Products (where available) over GSVER, where allowed by relevant product specification by following the applicable methodology, monitoring requirements, additionality requirements and claims guidelines. Stacking of new Impact Statements or Products will not affect the duration of crediting period already approved for the project. New Impact Statements or Products may be issued for the remainder of the certification period but cannot be retrospectively issued unless otherwise stated in specific Product Requirements.

3.8  No VVB review and opinion is required on documents submitted for Transition at Verification (i.e., the first verification that takes place after 01st March 2018). The VVB shall prepare the Verification Report as per the version of Gold Standard applicable to the Project pre-transition. The Project Developer shall submit the Transition documentation to Gold Standard alongside the Verification report (it is recommended to do this as early as possible in the Verification process to maximise time available to resolve any queries or clarifications). Gold Standard will review the submitted documents and raise clarification or corrective actions to be resolved before Transition is approved. The approval decision shall be taken by Gold Standard, overseen by the Gold Standard’s independent Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The decision will be included in the Issuance Review documentation provided to the Gold Standard TAC and NGO Supporters.

3.9  Subsequent Verifications that occur after transition shall take into account the GS4GG Requirements.

3.10  Issues that will not affect the decision to transition the project can be converted to Forward Action Requests (FARs) and checked during next verification.

3.11  The following aspects need to be focused on while preparing documentation for transition:

(a)  Compliance to updated safeguarding principles as defined in section 3.2 of Gold Standard for the Global Goals Principles & Requirements and the Gold Standard Safeguarding Principles & Requirements. The project shall carry out a gap analysis between the ‘Do No Harm’ assessment criteria defined in earlier versions of the standard and Safeguarding Principles & Requirements defined under GS4GG. Any additional assessment criteria in line with guidelines defined in point #2 under section 3.2 of Gold Standard for the Global Goals Principles & Requirements shall be assessed. GSV1.0 projects shall also carry out the assessment against all the Safeguarding Principles as there was no ‘Do No Harm’ assessment carried at time of registration with Gold Standard.

(b)  Contribution to Climate Security and Sustainable Development Goals as defined in section 2.1.3 of Gold Standard for the Global Goals Principles & Requirements. The project shall justify how the two sustainable development indicators from the SD matrix justified having positive score can be linked to two most relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target. The monitoring plan shall be updated, as required, to monitor contribution to at least two other SDGs apart from SDG 13 or may retain their existing sustainable development monitoring plan, including indicators chosen. To do so the Project shall provide a brief and simple explanation that links the parameter already monitored to the closest, most relevant SDG Target. Transition projects may add further SDG monitoring parameters as they choose, provided these meet the Requirements set out in GS4GG and are subject to Gold Standard Performance Review.

4.0  DOCUMENTS

4.1  Transition projects during the ongoing crediting period shall submit an Annex to registered documents to the Gold Standard Secretariat any time during the next verification that will happen after 1st March 2018. The Annex shall contain information on updated Safeguarding Principles assessment, updated SDG contribution assessment and any updates to monitoring plan. If project is looking to stack new Impact Statement and/or Products over GSVERs the required information to demonstrate compliance to the relevant methodology, product specification and additionality shall also be presented in the Annex.

4.2  Transition projects during the renewal of crediting period shall submit entire project information in new templates issued by VVB for review. The documents shall essentially contain information on updated Safeguarding Principles assessment, updated SDG contribution assessment, any updates to monitoring plan, updated baseline information, demonstration of OFN compliance to latest version of applied methodology etc. If project is looking to stack new Impact Statement and/or Products over GSVERs the required information to demonstrate compliance to the relevant methodology, product specification and additionality shall also be presented.

4.3  The Transition Documentation shall be included in the Issuance Review and made available for Gold Standard TAC and NGO supporter comment. Upon successful review the Project shall transition to GS4GG.

5.0  MICROSCALE PROJECTS

5.1  Microscale projects shall also transition to microscale scheme under GS4GG as per the Timelines and Requirements defined above.

5.2  Microscale projects looking to transition to GS4GG during the ongoing crediting period shall submit updated information in an Annex to registered documents to the Gold Standard Secretariat any time during the next verification that will happen after 1st March 2018. The Annex shall essentially contain information on updated Safeguarding Principles assessment, SDG contribution assessment and any updates to monitoring plan. The microscale projects shall justify how they contribute positively to at least two SDGs apart from SDG 13. If project is looking to stack new Impact Statement and/or Products over GSVERs the required information to demonstrate compliance to the relevant methodology, product specification and additionality shall also be presented in the Annex.

5.3  Microscale projects looking to transition to GS4GG during the renewal of crediting period shall submit entire project information in new templates to the Gold Standard Secretariat for review. The documents shall essentially contain information on updated safeguarding principles assessment, SDG contribution assessment, any updates to monitoring plan, updated baseline information, demonstration of OFN etc. If project is looking to stack new Impact Statement and/or Products over GSVERs the required information to demonstrate compliance to the relevant methodology, product specification and additionality shall also be presented.

6.0 PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES (including microscale PoAs)

6.1  Gold Standard registered programmes and the activities within them shall transition to GS4GG at the same time. It is not possible to transition one or group of few activities within the programme without transitioning the entire programme itself.

6.2  All Gold Standard registered programme of activities, irrespective of the version of the Standard with which they were registered, shall transition to GS4GG with next verification/Performance Certification of activities OR next renewal of crediting period of the programme after 1st March 2018.

6.3  PoAs that are under listing or validation process at time of launch of GS4GG can progress to registration with applied version of the standard but shall transition to GS4GG at time of first verification or submission of new activities for inclusion in the programme, whichever is earlier.

6.4  The REQUIREMENTS and DOCUMENTS outlined above for stand-alone projects will also apply to the programme of activities. For micro scale programme of activities, the DOCUMENTS as outlined for stand-alone micro scale activities shall be submitted.

7.0 CDM LABEL PROJECTS

7.1  CDM Label projects shall follow the same principle timescales for transition at next Verification as noted throughout this document.

Further information is included in the Gold Standard GHG Emissions Reductions & Sequestration Product Requirements.

Illustrated Timelines:

https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/TRANS-1.png

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Endnotes

[1] Defined as the date of legal execution of contract between Project Developer and GS-VVB for the Verification.