Rule Clarification – Transition Requirements for existing projects
The following clarifications are relevant to all Project Proponents, regardless of the version of the standard under which your project is Registered. It provides a clarification to the ‘Gold Standard for the Global Goals Transition Requirements’ document in the following areas:
In addition to the above Gold Standard also clarifies Requirements concerning:
The updates will be included in the planned update of Gold Standard for the Global Goals, March 2018 but the updates enter into force immediately as of the date of publication. The rationale for this is that the updates are largely in favour of Project Proponents or provide additional clarification without materially affecting the expected workload or evidences required.
Other 'Frequently Asked Questions' have been published to date here.
All existing Gold Standard projects (i.e. those certifying under earlier versions) shall transition to Gold Standard for the Global Goals. This transition shall take place at the next Verification or Certification Renewal event that takes place on or after 01st March 2018. The specific Requirements for transition are contained in the ‘Gold Standard for the Global Goals Transition Requirements’ (found here).
Further to stakeholder feedback concerning the above areas, Gold Standard provides further clarification as to the application of the rules (Item 1) and the application of existing sustainable development indicators (Item 2).
In addition to providing further clarification concerning transition projects, the published version of Gold Standard for the Global Goals also stated that further detail concerning additionality and Ongoing Finanial Need applications would be provided. This document provides these further details (Item 3).
1 – Certification Renewal and maximum certification periods
Gold Standard for the Global Goals introduced a new 5 year certification cycle. It also limits maximum certification periods to 10 years as a default, 15 years in the case of Renewable Energy or Community Services Activities or 30 to 50 years in the case of A/R Projects (specific Activity Requirements can be found here).
For projects transitioning from earlier versions of the Standard the following clarifications are made:
The rationale for this clarification is to allow existing projects to maintain their maximum crediting periods as envisaged at Registration. Note that the new Ongoing Financial Need Requirements shall also apply at Renewal, see separate clarification in Item 3, below.
2 – Use of existing Sustainable Development monitoring parameters
New projects applying GS4GG shall follow the Requirements set out in the Standard for the identification, selection and monitoring of SDG indicators. This envisages stronger justification of monitoring parameters put forward by the Project and how they can be shown to directly and logically lead to an SDG contribution.
For existing Gold Standard projects (i.e. those transitioning from an early version) it is recognised that implementing new monitoring indicators can be impractical; the following clarification is therefore provided:
The rationale for this clarification is to minimize the disruption and additional work for existing projects that could be caused by re-designing an existing Monitoring Plan, while still also providing a link to the SDGs.
3 – Additionality and Ongoing Financial Need
GS4GG requires the demonstration of Additionality and Ongoing Financial Need (OFN) for projects seeking to certify for the purposes of issuing a monetized product, such as VERs or Certified SDG Impact Statements, such as ADALYs. Gold Standard provides further information as follows:
Gold Standard does not formally specify what information or how to provide the OFN demonstration but the following guidance is provided as to the areas covered:
The rationale for these clarifications is that Gold Standard acknowledges that the discussions around the Paris Agreement are likely to touch upon additionality and the role of compliance mechanisms in the near to mid term. Accordingly, since Gold Standard has already made a series of improvements to its approach it will continue to monitor the policy discussions and adapt further as required in future.
Regarding OFN Gold Standard seeks to make an incremental step towards ensuring finance is directed where it is most needed. It is recognised that demonstrating and assessing OFN can be very challenging, hence the approach proposed allows Gold Standard to gather information and review how its finance is supporting projects, with a view to creating future improvements. By making this both confidential and not for decision making it is intended that this will minimize disruption and additional effort on behalf of the project. Proponents support and participation in these efforts is greatly appreciated.
 Please check relevant Activity Requirements for any project-specific OFN applicability