Microscale requirements

Modified on Fri, 19 Apr at 11:45 AM

These FAQs refer to the Microscale Requirements and associated Rule Update

What is a microscale project? 

Microscale projects are most commonly defined as those projects with annual emission reductions under 10,000 tCO2e. Specific requirements for project scale are included in the Principles and Requirements document and Activity Requirements for each project type. 

Why did Gold Standard mainstream the microscale scheme into GS4GG?

Gold Standard introduced the Microscale Scheme to help very small projects gain access to carbon finance. These were defined most commonly as those projects with annual emission reductions under 10,000 tCO2e, usually projects that support vulnerable communities. The scheme provided a simplified assurance process through internal validation/verification. Gold Standard for the Global Goals also included specific simplified activity requirements and methodologies to enable lower costs for project development and certification. Since inception, this scheme was successful in enabling over 900 Microscale projects achieve Gold Standard certification.


Projects under the Microscale Scheme could be validated and verified through an internal process, or through an approved third-party Validation/Verification Body (VVB). This was a great solution to support microscale projects when the scheme was introduced. 


However, since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the market has evolved with new compliance schemes and regulatory bodies - such as CORSIA and the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market’s (IC-VCM) Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) – establishing new minimum criteria for standard setting and assurance. A key principle within the criteria is the need for audits by third-party Validation and Verification Bodies (VVBs). This means that microscale projects that use internal validation and verification processes would not be compliant under these evolving market conditions. 


To continue supporting microscale projects in accessing climate finance, on 28 November 2023 we included microscale project requirements into the Gold Standard for the Global Goals standard documentation in the form of a newly created ‘microscale’ project scale category.  This change ensures consistent application of the certification process for all project scales, while maintaining microscale project requirements and simplifications.  As part of this inclusion in GS4GG standard requirements microscale projects must now undergo validation and verification by a Gold Standard approved VVB. 


Further information, including the key changes can be found in the Revisions to Microscale Scheme Requirements document. 

Who can now validate and verify microscale projects?

Any VVB accredited and approved by Gold Standard for the microscale scope can carry out the validation and verification of microscale projects. The full list of Gold Standard-approved VVBs can be found here: https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/verification-validation-bodies/


To continue to make microscale projects accessible and feasible for project developers, we are currently working to broaden our list of approved VVBs and to support and train (where required) the VVB community in microscale audits.

How does Gold Standard support new or existing micro-scale projects?

Gold Standard continues to support microscale projects in a variety of ways through simplified standard requirements and procedures. Some examples of support include, among others: 


  • The application of suppressed demand scenarios when establishing a baseline for microscale projects under certain methodologies 
  • Deemed additionality for microscale community services projects
  • The SDG Impact tool which helps showcase SDG impacts 
  • The Gold Standard Marketplace, which provides project developers with a simple, transparent and direct route to market.
  • As most microscale projects are related to cookstoves and safe water supply, we have focused intensively on these project types by:
    • Reforming and clarifying the TPDDTEC, the main methodology used by microscale projects 
    • Providing Cookstove Usage Rate guidelines
    • Creating a Simplified methodology for clean and efficient cookstoves
    • Providing a sample survey questionnaire for the simplified methodology to standardise project development and validation/verification 

Creating a methodology for metered & measured energy cooking devices, enabling digital monitoring, reporting and verification

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