New report from Ecosystem Marketplace on voluntary carbon markets finds 2021 is on track for annual market value record of $1 Billion+ for the first time, as all-time market value hits $6.7 Billion. Based on growing global network of 172 EM Respondents (13% increase from 2020 of 152), with traded credits from projects located in 80 countries.
In the first eight months of 2021, voluntary carbon markets have already posted a near-60% increase in value from last year, driven by corporate net-zero ambition and growing interest in carbon markets to achieve Paris climate goals.
- Does your organization want to be recognized amongst your peers? Not yet signed up to respond? Complete this form to be added to the 2021 EM Global Carbon Survey list.
2021 Updates to the Content Structure of the Survey
After months of consultation with new and returning EM Carbon Survey Respondents and carbon market stakeholders, we are updating the structure and questions of the survey to reflect growing data needs and interests in the market.
- Organizational Profile – information related to the responding organization
- Transactions Data – covers questions pertaining to:
- Project attributes
- Volumes and prices transacted
- NEW! Expanded buyer information
- NEW! Transaction deliveries
- NEW! Project Developer-specific data
- Insetting Data – questions related to insetting activities and the implementing organization.
- General Market Questions – asks relating to:
- NEW! Recent developments in the market (e.g. market prospects, Taskforce for Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, Article 6, Jurisdictional REDD+, and COVID-19)
- NEW! Respondent organization history
- NEW! Transaction dynamics
- NEW! Demand-side behavior
Note: these new survey sections enable us to rest on the pulse of the market, providing insight into pertinent questions such as:
- Should Corresponding Adjustments eventually apply to the VCM?
- What is your opinion of the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets’ Recommended Actions?
- How were your organization’s transactions impacted by COVID in 2020?
In addition to a multitude of improved survey question formatting to enable more streamlined access and ease of responding, below are several of the new features of the soon to be launched online EM Global Carbon Survey:
- Password protected survey form
- Multiple respondents per organization now possible
- Save and return to the survey
- Embedded data to save time on the organizational background section
- Option to complete the survey via Excel or EM’s online platform
- Auto-fill option pulls transaction data when respondent provides project ID
- Ability to submit survey responses at flexible intervals
- Table of contents to easily navigate between survey sections
- Customized survey flow presents only questions relevant to the respondent
2021 June 24 | A Green Growth Spurt, State of Forest Carbon Finance 2021
What’s inside? Ecosystem Marketplace’s report, A GreenGrowth Spurt: State of Forest Carbon Finance 2021 (last iteration in 2017), shows that funding to conserve and increase carbon stored in global forests has more than doubled in the last four years. However, forest carbon finance still falls far short of what’s needed to counter deforestation and support increased climate ambition. Get a comprehensive look at how forest carbon finance is shaping the path to net zero, and outlook in 2021 and beyond:
- The past four years have shown a strong upward trajectory for forest carbon finance.
- With recent developments, the sector has nowhere to go but up.
- But if we want to get serious about combatting climate change in the next few decades, we must bolster forest carbon finance’s critical role.
2021 May 04 | Buyers of Voluntary Carbon Offsets, a Regional Analysis – the Third and Final Installment of EM’s 2020 State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets
What’s inside? This installment features European & North American Buyers Offsets Prices, Volumes, and Insight
s, highlighting some notable similarities and disparities between European and North American buyers, showing that in 2019:
- Compared to Europe, a greater but declining portion of public sector and non-profit buyers are present in North America.
- In both regions, the Finance/Insurance sector bought relatively high volumes of carbon credits.
- Likely for reasons of supply, Europe was more likely to purchase international credits while North America tended to go domestic.
Closing the Carbon Offsets Issuances & Retirements Gap, State of the Carbon Offsets Standards’ Issuances & Retirements, 2021 Quarter 1
We’ve aggregated data derived from standards’ registries, including Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Gold Standard, American Carbon Registry, and Climate Action Reserve, Plan Vivo, and the California Air Resources Board to bring you the latest updates and historical roundup of independent and compliance offsets standards. Download now and stay tuned for the next EM Insights Brief on carbon offset buyers’ data from the 2020 EM Global Carbon Survey to be published at the end of April.
What’s inside? 2021 has already proven to be a landmark year in carbon markets. Our findings show compelling shifts, such as:
- Retirements surpassed issuances in January 2021 for the first time since 2017. The increase was primarily driven by forestry project retirements.
- VCS retirements have more than doubled, Plan Vivo nearly doubled, and Gold Standard increased by 40% compared to Q1 2020.
- Over two-thirds of the world’s issuances in Q1 2021 were located in the United States, India, Turkey, Cambodia, and China.
EM Data Intelligence & Analytics Dashboard
The Public Dashboard (V1.0) is now live! Click here to be directed to the dashboard.
- Beta testers with previously provided credentials can still log-in here.
- Sign up here to request a spot as a beta tester. Pre-invited pilot and beta users of these new developments include EM’s Strategic Supporters and a select group of committed organizations that have responded consistently to the EM Carbon Survey.
Latest Developer’s Notes – as of 10 May 2021:
- Prices & Volumes > Data Benchmarking Tool: Users now have the ability to select two grouping variables of additional attributes for benchmarking average prices and total volumes. To narrow in on these attributes, the user can also use filters. The full list of variables includes:
- Transactions & Sellers Details: Transaction Period, Project Category, Project Type, Project Region, Country, Standard, Vintage, Seller’s Market Role (e.g., Project Developer/Intermediary), Project’s Co-Benefits (e.g. CCBA), Additional Certifications (e.g. Organic), Primary or Secondary Market.
- Buyers Details: Buyer’s Market Role, Buyer’s Sector, Buyer’s Location/Region, Buyer Organization Type (e.g. for-profit/private sector, non-profit, government), Buyer’s Emissions Scope for Offset Use, Type of Market for Offset Use (e.g., Voluntary or Compliance).
- Issuances & Retirements Meta-Registry: UK Woodland Carbon Code and PrimaClima will be added into the issuance/retirement database, bringing the total # of registries linked to 8, including also Verra, Gold Standard, American Carbon Registry, Climate Action Reserve, Plan Vivo, and California Air and Resources Board. All updated monthly.
- Respondent Directory: All public respondents to EM’s 2020 Global Carbon Survey are listed under the Respondent Directory, with website links, headquarter country, and market role.
- Public Dashboard: The new open-access dashboard, now live, provides all interested parties more in-depth visualizations of our Issuances and Retirements and Carbon Survey transaction data, as well as the Respondent Directory. Stay tuned for our Premium Model, which will host the Data Benchmarking Tool.
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.
Key Elements of this installment include:
- 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.
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.
Each year since 2007, hundreds of market participants worldwide and across all project types have responded to the EM Carbon Survey to signal that transparency is the key to robust and credible markets. As an independent and neutral third-party, EM brings credibility and holds the confidence of this global network that has reported tens of thousands of detailed offset transactions to EM.
Additional EM Insights & Past Publications
- 2020 March 10 | CORSIA Analysis: Global Carbon Markets Can More than Meet Civil Aviation Demand
- Corporate Offset Demand Analysis – Buying In: Taking Stock of the Role of Offsets in Corporate Carbon Strategies
State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets Reports
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2019
- Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2017
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2016
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2015
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2014
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2012
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2011
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2010
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2009
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2008
- State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2007
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Freelance writers are welcome to submit expressions of interest to write for EM News.
If you’d like to be notified of future positions as they are announced, please email us at email@example.com with your resume and, if applicable, examples of writing.
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- Fact sheet: Producing a Voluntary Carbon Offset
- Fact sheet: Voluntary Carbon Offset Project Types and Categories
- Infographic: CORSIA and the Voluntary Carbon Markets
As an initiative of non-profit Forest Trends, Ecosystem Marketplace’s work would not be possible without generous financial and in-kind support. We are seeking sponsors for our work, including tracking environmental markets, reporting on news, and future editions of this newsletter. Click here to contact us about sponsorship and advertising.
In 2006, 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 then, 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.