US environmental consultancy EcoTrust has won approval for the first carbon offset project methodology in improved forest management (IFM) under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). IFM is a relatively new field of carbon crediting activity taking on heightened importance following the widening of the international REDD initiative on deforestation to include forest restoration and sustainable forest management - so called REDD-plus.
Over the past two years, the voluntary carbon market space has grown and changed rapidly. Independent assessment of carbon projects is now a must for any project developer or retailer of carbon offsets. An array of third-party audit standards has emerged to support the validation of projects and the verification of their emissions reductions for the creation of carbon credits.
Delegates at the global climate summit failed to figure out a way to stop the destruction of the world's forests. But some lawmakers think they have a solution, and it relies on financing from some of America's biggest polluters.