Your questions answered at our Carbon Market Question Time

Published 8 February 2024

On February 6th 2024 we hosted a Carbon Market Question Time, where members of our expert team answered some of your most pressing questions about the Voluntary Carbon Market.

Check out the summary of this wide-ranging and informative session or watch the full session recording below, and don't forget to join us live next time to get your questions answered directly by our panel of industry experts.

Summary

Our panel of industry experts answered questions ranging from how is demand changing for different types of carbon credits, to what defines quality and how is the market responding to increased scrutiny.  Hear from Rachael Nutter, Global Director of Project Development, Rebecca Fay, Chief Marketing Officer, Suki Benn, Due Diligence Manager, and Carolyn Bacchus, VP in Client Solutions, as our expert chair Sherah Beckley, Senior Manager in Client Solutions, takes the panel through your most pressing questions on the Voluntary Carbon Market.

What carbon credits are most popular, and where is demand going?

  • There’s increasing interest in removals to meet net zero targets.

Panelists discussed an increasing demand for, and focus on, removal credits and methodologies, driven by the need to meet net-zero goals. They highlighted how many corporates are investing in removals projects now, to ensure they have the credits they need in future – be that through project development or offtake agreements with existing projects for future credit issuance. They emphasized the complexity and fast changing nature of the Voluntary Carbon Market, the importance of staying informed about market developments, and the need for a trusted partner to help make sense of this evolving landscape.

What is the impact of increasing regulation and media scrutiny?

  • It’s raising the bar, which is important. Companies are responding by increasing transparency and seeking third party certification for claims.

The discussion then shifted to the impact of increasing regulation and media scrutiny on the carbon market. The panel acknowledged the positive aspects of scrutiny in driving transparency and improvement, but stressed the need for a nuanced approach. They explained how companies are responding to regulatory changes by enhancing transparency and seeking third-party certification for their carbon claims. The importance of ensuring the quality of carbon offset projects to maintain credibility and trust in the market was also emphasized. The panel agreed on the necessity of continuous improvement and adherence to rigorous standards.


How do I know which project or credits to choose? Are some of better quality than others?

  • Robust quality assurance is essential. No two projects are alike. New industry initiatives may help but will take time to roll out.

The conversation delved into the importance of a robust quality assurance process and detailed some of our proprietary 10-stage program for ensuring project quality. This involves checking against standards, derogatory information searches, and technical screenings. (You can learn more about our Quality Assurance process here.)

Initiatives like the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets (ICVCM) and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMII) were examined for their potential impact on enhancing project quality within the carbon market. The ICVCM's core carbon principles (CCPs) aim to standardize quality levels for project types, with a gradual rollout planned. The VCMI is aiming to standardize corporate claims. The panel expressed some concern that the bar might be too high to encourage enough companies to take action on climate. The complexity of these conversations was highlighted, and while important, it was felt rapid adoption might be challenging.

What’s new and exciting? What should I be looking out for?

  • There’s so much change and innovation - the important thing is to understand what will work for your business.

During the discussion, the panel highlighted innovations in technology to measure carbon avoidance and removal. This brings new methods for project delivery and increasingly accurate, transparent, and even real time carbon measurement. There are also exciting new trends in carbon project types like tree planting, blue carbon, biochar-enhanced rock weathering, and direct air capture. When selecting projects, companies should be careful to align with their strategic objectives, be those carbon priorities, CSR initiatives, or supply chains.

Contact our expert team for more information about trends and innovations in the Voluntary Carbon Market, and for help navigating the fast-changing landscape of project types and climate claims.

Useful links:

Watch the full Question Time Discussion

You can enjoy the full recording of this insightful session below, and join us live for future discussions to engage directly with industry experts.

And check out additional resources like our new climate action podcast “Ambition to Impact” to stay at the forefront of developments in the carbon market.

Making real change possible

Contact us to learn about how we can work with you to deliver action on climate