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US Government Releases Statement and Principles for Voluntary Carbon Markets, Announces Semifinalists in Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchase Pilot Prize

31st May 2024

On Tuesday, May 28th, 2024, the US Department of Treasury, together with the Secretaries of the US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Energy, and National Economic and Climate Advisors, jointly released a policy statement and principles for responsible participation in Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCMs). The document provides seven principles focusing on carbon credit integrity, including protections for climate and environmental justice, carbon credit use, and market-level integrity, including facilitating efficient market participation and lowering transaction costs. 

In a press release, US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, said, “Voluntary carbon markets can help unlock the power of private markets to reduce emissions, but that can only happen if we address significant existing challenges. The principles released today are an important step toward building high-integrity voluntary carbon markets. This is part of the Biden administration’s ambitious efforts to tackle the climate crisis and accelerate a clean energy transition that benefits all Americans.” 

This joint policy statement and principles document follows efforts by the US Department of Energy to cultivate VCMs through its Voluntary Carbon Dioxide Removal Purchasing Challenge and Carbon Dioxide Removal Pilot Prize, designed collectively to connect VCM buyers and sellers, improve transparency of voluntary carbon dioxide removal (CDR) credit purchases, increase voluntary purchases of high-quality CDR credits, and recognize CDR credit buyers and sellers on a public leaderboard. Also on Tuesday, the US Department of Energy announced 24 semifinalists to receive a total of $1.2 million to scale up their CDR technologies. The 24 semifinalists will receive $50,000 each to help scale CDR approaches across four pathways: direct air capture with storage, biomass with carbon removal and storage, enhanced rock weathering and mineralization, and planned or managed carbon sinks. 

More about the 24 semifinalists can be found here. 

The joint policy statement and principles for responsible participation in Voluntary Carbon Markets can be found here. 

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