The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets – set up by Mark Carney in a bid to mirror the success of the TCFD – is consulting on a set of recommendations for the use of carbon offsets, and the need for consistent investor guidance and increased industry collaboration.
The Taskforce was launched in September by Carney, who is now UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Advisor to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for COP26, and the Institute of International Finance (IIF). It is chaired by Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered.
'As more and more firms commit to net zero, they will increasingly need to show how they plan to meet their net zero targets through an appropriate mix of emissions reductions and offsets' – Mark Carney
The Consultation Document outlines 17 recommendations, spanning six topics, to scale voluntary carbon markets. The topics include a proposed set of principles (‘core carbon principles’) that would help establish standardised benchmark contracts that would be listed on exchanges and utilise existing infrastructure. The Taskforce will seek consensus on the legitimacy of offsetting, on steps to develop certainty regarding market integrity, and on ways to establish best practices for buyers and investors.
The move comes as companies increasingly commit to net-zero pledges with plans to use carbon offsets as part of goals.
Carney said: “I am pleased to see the rapid progress the Taskforce members have made to create an initial blueprint for a large-scale, professional voluntary market for carbon credits. As more and more firms commit to net zero, they will increasingly need to show how they plan to meet their net zero targets through an appropriate mix of emissions reductions and offsets. This presents an enormous green investment opportunity, which can help generate large flows of private capital from advanced to developing economies, and help fund projects from nature-based solutions to technological solutions like carbon capture and storage.”
According to the report, global voluntary carbon markets will need to grow 15 fold within the next decade in order to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
Feedback is welcomed until December 10, with a final report from the Taskforce to be expected in January 2021.