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DOWNLOAD the Installments: 2020 State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets

Download the second installment.

Building upon the first installment of SOVCM 2020, this second installment presents additional EM data and analysis in light of recent recommendations from the Institute of International Finance’s (IIF’s) Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (the Taskforce) to provide insights into:

  • How voluntary carbon offset market participants price both core carbon and additional attributes (e.g., project types, co-benefits, location, vintage); and,
  • The ways EM data can inform this price discovery going forward.

Download the first installment.

In this installment, we discuss key insights and findings garnered from Forest Trends’ annual 2020 Ecosystem Marketplace Carbon Survey cycle.

Key Findings from this installment:

  • Corporate carbon-neutral pledges fueled a record transaction volume of at least 104 MtCO2e in 2019, which is an increase of 6 percent over 2018. Figures may be adjusted with data from new respondents.
  • Volume has been surprisingly strong in 2020. Anecdotal evidence based on interviews with market participants indicates it may even exceed that of 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Broader pledges have compensated for the loss of volume from the aviation and tourism sectors.
  • Average offset prices remained flat in 2019, but with wide variance by type. Prices for offsets associated with Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and Natural Climate Solutions (NCS), for example, increased 30 percent, while prices for offsets from renewable energy decreased 16 percent.
  • Price and volume moved in opposite directions for these leading offset types. Agriculture, forestry, and other land use (AFOLU) volume dropped 28 percent and renewable energy volume surged by 78 percent.
  • Despite the lower volume, the market value of AFOLU offsets was more than twice that of Renewable Energy, and demand for offsets associated with forest management in developing countries (i.e., REDD+) remains especially strong.
2021 EM Carbon Survey - In Development

The 2021 EM Carbon Survey is currently in development. We welcome carbon market stakeholders’ input, feedback, and guidance in this process.

Would your organization like to respond? Ensure you are added to the 2021 EM Carbon Survey list to be recognized amongst your peers.

Please email carbonsurvey@forest-trends.org.

2020 CORSIA Analysis: Global Carbon Markets Can More than Meet Civil Aviation Demand

MARCH 10, 2020 / Global airlines are committed to delivering “carbon neutral growth” in flights between countries, even if international air traffic doubles or triples, as some are projecting. That commitment kicks in next year, and a key vehicle for meeting it is the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

Created through the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), CORSIA will only deliver carbon-neutral growth if it recognizes a universe of offsets that’s large enough to meet variable demand but small enough to incentivize new activities that reduce emissions. A new analysis by Ecosystem Marketplace finds that current proposals do just that. Click here to download.


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Ecosystem Marketplace was initially created to improve transparency and price discovery in the voluntary space, as there is no centralized system for transacting voluntary carbon credits. Since 2006, our team has annually distributed surveys to our network of project developers, investors, retailers, and brokers to collect confidential information about their voluntary carbon offset market transactions. The resulting reports, provided free of charge, provide all market participants – from small project developers to large corporate buyers to policymakers – a comprehensive view of market conditions.