Forging a Frontier

Over the past two years, numerous writers and analysts have likened the voluntary carbon markets to the “wild west.” In 2007 market trends highlight that this frontier has become a settlement zone. Customers are increasingly savvy about the opportunities and pitfalls in the carbon offset domain and stakeholders are aggressively working to forge the rules of the game and structures to enable smooth transactions.

While interest in carbon offsets and, in turn, the growth of the voluntary carbon markets has accelerated dramatically, quantitative data regarding these markets has been sorely lacking. With the goal of filling a significant information gap, last year Ecosystem Marketplace and New Carbon Finance teamed up to undertake a comprehensive, quantitative analysis of the voluntary carbon markets. The result was our first annual State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2007. The report answered fundamental questions about the size, players, project types, prices, and transaction volumes of the voluntary markets.