Global voluntary carbon market must grow 15-fold

The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets has published its initial recommendations in a public consultation document, stating that the market must grow 15-fold by 2030 to enable companies and organisations to meet goals set under the Paris climate agreement.

The Taskforce, initiated by Mark Carney, Finance Advisor to the Prime Minister for COP26, is a private sector-led initiative working to scale an effective, efficient and functioning voluntary carbon market. It includes participants that represent the financial sector, market infrastructure providers and buyers and suppliers of carbon offsets.

A large, transparent, verifiable and robust voluntary carbon market is seen as critical to reaching net-zero and net-negative goals and the document outlines 17 recommendations, spanning six topics, to scale voluntary carbon markets; these topics include a proposed set of principles (core carbon principles) that would help establish standardised benchmark contracts that would be listed on exchanges and utilise existing infrastructure. It has also proposed that projects should be divided clearly between those that avoid or reduce emissions and those that remove emissions carbon capture.

Carney, said: “I am pleased to see the rapid progress the Taskforce members have made to create an initial blueprint for a large-scale, professional voluntary market for carbon credits. As more and more firms commit to net-zero, they will increasingly need to show how they plan to meet their net-zero targets through an appropriate mix of emissions reductions and offsets. This presents an enormous green investment opportunity, which can help generate large flows of private capital from advanced to developing economies, and help fund projects from nature-based solutions to technological solutions like carbon capture and storage.”

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