Initiative publishes phase II report with recommendations for action

Since September 2020, the private sector-led Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets has been working on concepts for further developing the voluntary carbon market under the leadership of UN Special Envoy for Climate Protection, Mark Carney. The Taskforce has now published a report with its proposals for the future framework conditions for privately trading voluntary emission reduction certificates. Among other things, the report proposes the establishment of an independent supervisory body for the markets. In addition to this, it suggests possible future quality standards for various emission reduction certificates.

Taskforce logo

In early 2021, the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) announced that the trade of voluntary emission reductions would have to increase 15-fold by 2030 in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The taskforce has recently published its phase II final report of non-binding recommendations for action for global emissions trading, with the aim to catalyze future development of an efficient voluntary carbon market and to ensure the long-term supply of high-quality, certified emission reductions.

CCPs – New quality standards for the trade of voluntary emission reductions

The initiative, which has over 250 member companies and organisations, focuses its recommendations on the development of high-quality standards, called Core Carbon Principles (CCPs), which aim to define minimum requirements for individual proof of emission reductions.

Its suggested recommendations include the following criteria: a stable legal framework should exist for the sale of emission reductions; no emission reductions should be excluded from the market, however, those evidencing high quality should be specially marked. Furthermore, it should always be made transparent whether a project is reducing or neutralizing carbon emissions. The climate protection project in question should also offer additional benefits to people and the environment, thus contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The taskforce fundamentally recommends that companies should reduce their avoidable greenhouse gas emissions but also, as part of their decarbonization strategy, they should obtain high-quality emission reduction certificates from projects that neutralize residual emissions and actively remove carbon from the atmosphere. The CCP criteria, however, are initially proposals and are not yet final.

Quality standards compliance should be ensured with strong governance

According to Bill Winters, chairman of the taskforce, the initiative also plans to create a governance body by October, which should include members of the supervisory board as well as market players. Based on the taskforce’s recommendations, this governance body should monitor the global voluntary carbon markets as well as finally define and establish the framework for CCP criteria and guidelines by the end of 2021. This is to ensure that projects comply with the CCPs and that voluntary carbon markets fulfill their functions as instruments for achieving the net-zero target.

First Climate welcomes the recommendations of the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets:

Olaf Bachert“It is good to see a new and influential actor in the form of this taskforce committing to further developing the voluntary carbon market and actively shaping the fight against global warming. Discussing proposals, such as those of the taskforce, is important to advance the topic of net zero and ensure that the market continues to effectively be a drive towards net zero. This is vital for reliably and successfully meeting the growing demand for emission reduction certificates from high-quality, certified projects in the future.“

Olaf Bachert, CEO at First Climate Markets AG