What are Verified Carbon Units?
Each Verified Carbon Unit (VCU) represents one ton of emission reductions from a specific project that has been validated and verified according to the VCS Program rules. For more information on the VCS program rules please visit the website for the Verified Carbon Standard Association: www.v-c-s.org
When corporations, governments and individuals buy VCUs and subsequently retire the VCUs they are able to voluntarily offset their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from regular activities such as transportation and building heating and cooling demand. For more information on how to calculate a GHG footprint and reduce and/or offset emission please see the website for the GHG protocol: http://www.ghgprotocol.org
It is important to note that VCUs are not recognized at this time by any compulsory carbon cap and trade programs.
Should I invest in VCUs?
Unlike instruments approved for use in compulsory carbon cap and trade programs, no entities are required to purchase and retire voluntary carbon offsets. Entities that voluntarily seek to offset their GHG emissions footprint (such as corporations, governments and individuals), project developers, traders and investors are active participants in the VCU market. Therefore, there is little ability to accurately forecast demand and supply in the voluntary carbon offset space. As a result, APX strongly believes that VCUs are not suited for individuals to target as a short, medium or long-term investment. Our view is shared by the UK Financial Services Authority: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/consumerinformation/scamsandswindles/investment_scams/carbon_credit as well as the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance: http://www.icroa.org/documents/download.php?did=43
Note: APX has not and cannot provide advice to individuals about what companies to use to sell carbon credits.