In order to quantify carbon credits, we need to refer to a baseline scenario and the protocols applicable to the Project.
- The baseline scenario is the practice before the implementation of the project.
- The protocols are the methodologies used to calculate the carbon credits issued from the project. Protocols and methodologies are the formulas and calculation parameters of the GHG reductions.
What is the baseline scenario? The baseline scenario does not necessarily correspond to a precise year because the project may have started in the middle or end of the year. The baseline scenario depends on the project and represents the practice before the implementation of the project.
There are several programs and methods and the names of the carbon credits may vary depending on the programs according to which the quantification was made.
- Verified Emission Reductions are carbon credits issued in accordance with Standard ISO 14 064-2
- The Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRT) are carbon credits registered under the Climate Action Reserve, a Californian registry.
The Verified Carbon Standard program (VCS) call carbon credits Verified Carbon Unit (VCU) through the use of various methods other than the VCS methodology, for examples: the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Climate Action Reserve (CAR) (except for Forest and Urban Forest methodology) (http://vcs.org/methodologies/what-methodology)
In Canada, the registry that is often used is the GHG CleanProjectsRegistry of the Canadian Standards Association.
The vintage of a carbon credit and the methodology that was used for the quantification are some of the elements that influence the price of carbon credits.
Why are we talking about “ vintage”? The vintage is a term that refers to the year of production of the carbon credit, which means the year in which the reduction of GHG has occurred. Thus, we offer different projects with different vintages. The more “recent” the carbon credit is, the more expensive it is.