2.7 Carbon statements and reporting
- Landowners and project developers shall make carbon buyers aware of the WCC guidance on carbon claims.
- Any carbon statement by the landowner, the project developer or the carbon buyer shall be true and accurate and conform with the recommended wording. Statements made prior to sequestration shall clearly state the timescale over which the carbon is to be sequestered.
- Carbon removals shall only be reported, or used, after carbon is sequestered and verified (i.e. Woodland Carbon Units) in accordance with guidance. This is sometimes called ex-post reporting.
Carbon claims/conformance with the claims/reporting guidance will be checked at validation and each verification.
It is vital to the reputation of the Code that any claims made about carbon are true and accurate and that carbon from a given project is not used, or accounted for, more than once. As a general principle, carbon can only be used once the trees have grown, carbon is sequestered and verified. Companies using verified Woodland Carbon Units should demonstrate their use in an annual report (environmental, GHG or financial) as well as in other promotional claims. Landowners, project developers and carbon buyers should make every effort to ensure the appropriateness and accuracy of any claims.
The UK Land Carbon Registry, a carbon unit registry for the Woodland Carbon Code and Peatland Carbon Code, hosted by S&P Global. This contains units in two forms:
- Pending Issuance Units of a given ‘vintage’/time-period (essentially a promise to deliver carbon units in a given time-frame; not guaranteed) and
- Verified Woodland Carbon Units of a particular vintage/time-period (verified carbon sequestration which can be used, or reported; guaranteed).
All units are linked to the project they belong to, and publicly visible with their current status and owner. When units are retired from the registry for use, this will be publicly visible on a 'retirement' page. This will provide clarity and transparency of carbon owners and claims that are made. It is possible for project developers to 'assign' a PIU to a buyer if the buyer doesn't wish to have their own account. Assignment is irreversible, and assigned credits will be automatically retired once they are converted to verified Woodland Carbon Units upon verification.
Scottish Government's Interim Principles for Responsible Investment in Natural Capital provides further guidance for those thinking of buying carbon units or buying land to create carbon units.
Find out more about the statements/ claims that can be made about Pending Issuance and Woodland Carbon Units