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Core Carbon Principles

Published: 01 Jan 2024

Last Updated: 21 May 2024

The Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) are ten science-based principles developed in 2023 by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) to identify and label high-quality carbon credits that create real and verifiable climate impact.

The ten CCPs are:


1. Effective governance to ensure transparency, accountability, continuous improvement and the overall quality of carbon credits.

2. Tracking, making use of a registry to uniquely identify, record and track mitigation activities and carbon credits issued to ensure credits can be identified securely and unambiguously.

3. Transparency on all credited mitigation activities, with information publicly available in electronic format and accessible to non-specialised audiences, to enable scrutiny of mitigation activities.

4. Robust independent third-party validation and verification of mitigation activities.

Emissions impact

5. Additionality to ensure emission reductions or removals would not have occurred in the absence of the incentive created by carbon credit revenues.

6. Permanence of emissions reductions or removals or, where there is a risk of reversal, measures exist to address those risks and compensate.

7. Robust quantification of emission reductions and removals based on conservative approaches, completeness and scientific methods.

8. No double-counting of reductions or removals, covering double issuance, double claiming, and double use.

Sustainable impact

9. Sustainable development benefits and safeguards including clear guidance, tools and compliance procedures to ensure mitigation activities conform with or go beyond widely established industry best practices.

10. Contribution toward net-zero transition, to avoid locking-in levels of emissions, technologies or carbon-intensive practices that are incompatible with the objective of achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century.