Unlocking Potential: Buyers Analysis, State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2017

The Buyer’s Analysis – a companion report to the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2017 Report,

looks at who buys offsets, where they are located, why they buy offsets, and how they choose which offsets to purchase.

As of 2016, offsets equivalent to 1.1 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (BtCO2e) have been transacted voluntarily – through sales to governments, companies, and individuals as well as intermediary brokers – according to the latest annual State of Voluntary Carbon Markets report from Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace. Entitled “Unlocking Potential,” the new report and its two accompanying mini-reports find that:

  • Voluntary buyers in 2016 paid $191.3 million (M) to offset 63.4 million metric tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2e);
  • Concerned citizens, corporations, and sub-national governments voluntarily purchased carbon offsets from projects that reduce emissions through forest protection, renewable energy, and other means;
  • Demand for offsets did not meet supply, as transaction volumes on the voluntary markets shrank 24% from 2015 to 2016 and 56.2 MtCO2e were left unsold – some from previous years.

Two companion mini-reports take a closer look at two aspects of the voluntary carbon market, one of which is this Buyers Analysis. The second is the Regional Analysis, which examines the geography of voluntary carbon markets – where offsets are produced, how prices, project types, and standards vary by location and developments shaping the carbon market in each region.

Download the Buyers Analysis.