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Voluntary Carbon Markets: A Business Guide to What They Are and How They Work

We are pleased to announce the release of Voluntary Carbon Markets: A Business Guide to What They Are and How They Work

, by Ricardo Bayon and Amanda Hawn, Director and Editor, respectively, of the Ecosystem Marketplace, and Katherine Hamilton, the Ecosystem Marketplace's Carbon Projects Manager. The book features a foreword by former Vice-President Al Gore:

"Voluntary Carbon Markets describes a remarkable area of innovation in the fight to control global warming pollution in describing the foundations upon which many promising carbon reducing strategies have been built. And in the current absence of a worldwide regulatory system for carbon reduction, Voluntary Carbon Markets also foreshadows the factors that will drive the next generation of market-based innovation for fighting global warming pollution. I commend the work of...the Ecosystem Marketplace Group for...shining the light on this important market." Read more »

Designed to support the growth of the voluntary carbon market, Voluntary Carbon Markets offers a much-needed resource for investors, business executives, consumers, and others, explaining in detail how this market works, its potential for growth, and how to get involved.

Look Inside the Book



Reserve Your Copy Today


Voluntary Carbon Markets is now available in both Europe and the United States. For book ordering information and book availability, please visit Earthscan (for purchases outside the US) or Stylus (for purchases within the US). You may also find it on Amazon.

About the Authors


Ricardo Bayon is the Director of the Ecosystem Marketplace. For over a decade he has been focusing on issues related to finance, socially responsible investment (SRI), and the environment. He has been a fellow of the New America Foundation and done work for a number of organizations, including Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, Domini Social Investments, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank, Forest Trends, The Nature Conservancy, the UN Foundation, IUCN, and the Inter-American Development Bank, among others.

Mr. Bayon's articles on energy, SRI, climate, the environment, and finance have appeared in a variety of publications, including The Washington Post, the Atlantic Monthly, the International Herald Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, and The Milken Institute Review. He has also been a regular contributor for the UK monthly Environmental Finance.

Previously, Mr. Bayon was Special Assistant to the Director General, Interim Director of Communications, and Conservation Finance Coordinator at IUCN-The World Conservation Union. He also worked on the preparations of the non-governmental events that took place at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development.

He was born in Bogota, Colombia, studied at Brown University, and speaks fluent English, Spanish and French. He is currently based in San Francisco.

Amanda Hawn is the Managing Editor of the Ecosystem Marketplace. Since 2003, Ms. Hawn has worked as a science journalist covering the intersection of ecology and economics. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, The Economist, Conservation in Practice and, of course, the Ecosystem Marketplace.

Hawn holds a MSc. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and has conducted research in the United States, the Netherlands Antilles, Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa. The recipient of the Becky Colvin Memorial Prize for environmental thesis research as an undergraduate at Princeton University, she completed her graduate work through a Princeton Fellowship at the University of Cape Town's Percy FitzPatrick Institute. She is currently based in San Francisco.

Katherine Hamilton is the Carbon Project Manager at Ecosystem Marketplace. Before joining Ecosystem Marketplace, she earned a masters degree at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she focused on corporate environmental management and wrote her thesis on the voluntary carbon market. At Yale, Katherine also worked as a Hixon Center for Urban Ecology Fellow with United Nations Development Program- Latin America/ Caribbean and as a lead research assistant at the Yale Environmental Law and Policy Center.

Before attending graduate school, Ms Hamilton worked at Natural Capitalism Inc. in Boulder, Colorado, with the International Council for Science in Paris, France, and taught outdoor education. Ms. Hamilton completed a B.A. in International Relations at the University of Michigan in 2001. She is currently based in Washington D.C.

What People are Saying about Voluntary Carbon Markets


  • Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President
  • Mark Kenber, Policy Director at the Climate Group
  • Richard Burrett, Managing Director Sustainable Development, Global Markets ABN-AMRO
  • Bradford S. Gentry, Co-Director Center for Business and the Environment at Yale, Senior Lecturer Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
  • Eugene Linden, author of Winds of Change
  • Hunter Lovins, President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions and co-author of Natural Capitalism
  • Ken Newcombe, Head of Origination, Climate Change Capital
  • Colin Le Duc, Partner & Head of Research, Generation Investment Management LLP


"The Voluntary Carbon Market describes a remarkable area of innovation in the fight to control global warming pollution in describing the foundations upon which many promising carbon reducing strategies have been built. And in the current absence of a worldwide regulatory system for carbon reduction, The Voluntary Carbon Market also foreshadows the factors which will drive the next generation of market-based innovation for fighting global warming pollution. I commend the work of...the Ecosystem Marketplace Group for... shining the light on this important market." former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore

"This book is an essential source of knowledge, information and ideas. Not only is it comprehensive, covering – for the first time anywhere – everything from renewable energy and the relationship between the voluntary carbon markets and the regulated carbon markets, but it is also thought-provoking and visionary: taking a cold hard look at where the industry is likely to go" Mark Kenber, Policy Director at The Climate Group

"The last two years have seen tremendous interest—and growth—in the regulated carbon markets in Europe and as a result of the Kyoto Protocol. But until the publication of this book, little had been done on another, equally important part of the carbon market, the voluntary carbon market. This book is required reading for those interested in how businesses and individuals might enter the carbon markets and should be of keen interest to those already involved in the carbon markets." Richard Burrett, Managing Director Sustainable Development, Global Markets ABN-AMRO

"This book both shines a light on the workings of voluntary carbon markets and helps provide a roadmap for the increasing number of people and institutions looking to offset their emissions of greenhouse gasses." Bradford S. Gentry, Co-Director Center for Business and the Environment at Yale, Senior Lecturer Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

"As the world slowly awakens to the dire threat posed by our fast-changing climate, policy makers and businessmen look to the financial markets as one of the best hopes for a rapid and efficient response. Clearly written and immensely well-informed, Voluntary Carbon Markets offers an invaluable guide through the myriad financial innovations and markets that are emerging in response to this challenge" Eugene Linden, author of Winds of Change

"Businesses must take a critical look on how they are managing their emissions. This book opens the lid on the ideas and mechanisms behind the market and provides critical, newly published information on a complex market" Hunter Lovins, President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions and co-author of Natural Capitalism

"Until now, information on the state of the voluntary carbon market was in a very few hands. This book begins to remedy that situation and I expect that it will be eagerly read by those trying to build businesses in this space or trying to understand the role of markets in addressing climate change." Ken Newcombe, Head of Origination, Climate Change Capital

"The Ecosystem Marketplace has done the global investment community a huge service by highlighting the power of voluntary markets for carbon and other GHGs. Understanding the significant potential of environmental markets is a critical foundation to enhancing the efficiency of capital allocation globally and addressing the climate crisis." Colin Le Duc, Partner & Head of Research, Generation Investment Management LLP