VCM Reaches Towards $2 Billion in 2021:
New Market Analysis Published from Ecosystem Marketplace

The EM Insights Team

According to the latest State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report from Ecosystem Marketplace, the VCM grew in value towards $2 Billion in 2021. This quadrupling in market value from 2020 was driven by an acceleration of nature-based solutions trading volume and higher prices for these and other projects with non-carbon environmental and social benefits, such as clean cookstoves and water purification devices.

03 August 2022 | 2021 was a historic, record-breaking year for the Voluntary Carbon Markets, and 2022 is off to a fast-paced start. With the VCM now around the $2 billion mark, this much-anticipated The State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2022 Q3 briefing, “The Art of Integrity.” 

The briefing offers a synthesis of EM’s wealth of all EM Respondent reported VCM carbon credit trade data for 2021 (and updates to 2020), a 6X increase in annual market data over 2019.

The VCM grew in value towards $2 Billion in 2021. This quadrupling in market value from 2020, and doubling from our last market update during COP26, was driven by an acceleration of nature-based solutions trading volume and higher prices for these and other projects with non-carbon environmental and social benefits, such as clean cookstoves and water purification devices.

From developers to investors and buyers, VCM data interests are becoming increasingly granular. Over the past several months, EM has been busy investing in upgrades to its data systems and analytical tools, applying new QAQC practices to the data, and updating its project typology and category classifications to capture the astonishing diversity of +170 project credit types from nearly 100 countries reported to us for transactions in 2020-2021.

“Quality” and “integrity” are buzzwords in the voluntary carbon markets right now. Our position has always been that transparency is fundamental for high-quality, high-integrity markets. As the markets get larger and more complex, our goal is to make sure that markets deliver real climate impact, that high-quality projects are priced and valued accordingly, and that corporate climate action actors understand their full range of options.

EM’s work is accelerating, and collaboration is essential. With new initiatives, such as the ICVCM and VCMI offering integrity guidance and principles, and the overall bullish outlook of the VCM creating the wind at our backs, EM humbly leans into its increasingly critical role as a neutral and independent nonprofit initiative driving end-to-end trade transparency in what is still a largely disaggregated, over the counter market.

We look forward to working with our growing global network of EM Respondents, Visionary Partners, Strategic Supporters, Data Partners, and new collaborators to continue to expand and strengthen our coverage of credit sales from project developers and intermediaries.

Stay tuned for our next State of the VCM briefing as EM Respondents are currently reporting 2022 data. More up-to-date, in-depth, and cross-cutting data to be published in September during Climate Week NYC.

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