Voluntary markets expected to move US$1 billion


Until August of this year, voluntary carbon markets had generated US$ 748.2 million in credit sales worldwide. The volume represents an increase of 60% compared to the full year of 2020. If the pace is maintained, total transactions should reach the level of US$ 1 billion by the end of the year.

The data are part of a survey carried out by Ecosystem Marketplace, an initiative of the Forest Trends organization, which specializes in compiling information on carbon trading around the world. The work attributes the growth to the growing movement of companies’ commitment to voluntary carbon neutrality goals.

Voluntary market is the trading of emissions between companies and individuals without regulatory obligations, but to meet voluntary corporate or individual targets. The difference in relation to regulated market proposal is the fact that it is not linked to the goals of Paris Agreement.

Launched in 2020, Race To Zero global campaign, supported by the United Nations (UN), already mobilizes 120 countries, 3,067 companies and 173 investors committed to achieving zero net emissions by 2050. This corresponds to a 25% reduction in emissions of CO2 and more than 50% of global GDP. The challenge goes beyond the commitment to neutrality, and includes targets for the elimination of emissions generated throughout the production chain.

Voluntary decarbonization targets

The objective of Race do Zero is to create momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy, which has been observed by the survey’s numbers. The net zero concept represents a commitment to net neutral emissions. This means that companies must reduce emissions as much as possible and, what is not possible due to the profile of the activity, will be removed by other means, such as planting forests.

According to the criteria for joining the campaign organized by the UN, the head of each organization must set a goal that reflects the maximum effort towards a 50% global reduction in CO2 by 2030. mid-term and long-term targets, take immediate action to achieve zero net emissions, and publicly report progress against mid-term and long-term targets.

Efforts for net zero

The UK was the first major economy in the world to pass laws that bring emissions to zero, and that oblige companies that make that commitment to disclose how they are doing to reach net zero. Germany and France went in the same direction.

The US government, despite not being backed by legislation, has already made public commitments for reductions equal to those of the Europeans. China, on the other hand, which has coal as its main energy matrix, opted only for carbon neutrality until 2060.

According to specialists, Brazil has advantages to achieve this goal, including the energy matrix predominantly made up of clean sources. The weak point is the burning in the Amazon, responsible for 70% of its emissions. “Those who say they are doing net zero need to do more than just NDCs”, said Ronaldo Seroa Motta, professor of Environmental Economics at UERJ, during a webinar held by the Observatório Interdisciplinar das Mudanças Climáticas.

Commitments made in recent years related to climate change differ in terms and types of emissions and offsets. However, more important than the path each one will take is translating commitments into effective and immediate actions.

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