Verra is a nonprofit standard-setting organization that certifies the environmental and social impact of emission reduction or removal projects. It was founded in 2007 by environmental and business actors who, according to their website, "saw the need for greater quality assurance in voluntary carbon markets."
Verra facilitates organizations to reduce carbon emissions in a structured way, by setting standards for emissions reductions, certifying impacts by issuing carbon credits, and recording carbon credits on their registry. In addition, the methodology includes third-party auditors responsible for assessing whether a project meets Verra's standards.
In January 2023, the Guardian published a report that shows over 90% of rainforest offset credits verified by Verra, the leading carbon standard in the $2bn voluntary offsets market, may be "phantom credits" and do not truly represent carbon reductions. This finding applies to a substantial portion of Verra's projects and the credits commonly used by companies. The report is based on a nine-month investigation undertaken by the Guardian together with the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit and SourceMaterial, a non-profit investigative journalism organisation.