Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets Publishes Initial Recommendations, Calls for Feedback from Stakeholders

November 10, 2020

WASHINGTON D.C. AND LONDON – Today the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets published a public Consultation Document, providing an opportunity for stakeholders across the carbon markets value-chain to submit input on the Taskforce’s recommended blueprint to build a fully functional voluntary carbon market.

Against the backdrop of increasing private sector commitments to reduce emissions, and demand from investors for credible transition plans, the Taskforce was convened in September to quickly draft a set of practical recommendations to develop a well-functioning voluntary carbon market. A large, transparent, verifiable and robust voluntary carbon market will be critical to reaching net zero and net negative goals.

The Consultation Document outlines 17 recommendations, spanning six topics, to scale voluntary carbon markets; these topics include a proposed set of principles (core carbon principles) that would help establish standardized benchmark contracts that would be listed on exchanges and utilize 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.

Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Advisor to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for COP26, 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. 

“While the Taskforce has drawn on the expertise of its diverse membership, it is important that it now receives feedback from participants across the carbon value chain. Responses to the Consultation Survey will be invaluable in moving from blueprint to a pilot market and, ultimately, to building these voluntary carbon markets to the scale required to support the whole economy transition required to achieve net-zero.”

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered and Taskforce Chair, said: “A large, transparent, verifiable and robust voluntary carbon market is essential in the quest for global decarbonization. Establishing a fair price for carbon offsets in a transparent and liquid market will allow those who seek to reduce their carbon footprint to more easily fund those who invest in actual carbon reduction projects. The Taskforce released today comprehensive recommendations as to how we can get there. We must now focus on implementation and collectively pursue tangible actions to deliver such a carbon market, that can also rapidly scale.”

Tim Adams, President and CEO of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), said: “As the effects of climate change accelerate and grow more urgent by the day, the need for coordinated action has never been more clear. We all have a critical role to play to help transition the global economy to net zero emissions.

“This Consultation Document provides stakeholders from across the value chain a historic opportunity to help create a large, transparent, verifiable and robust voluntary carbon market, which can help reduce the global emissions footprint.”

The Consultation Document was produced by more than 50 Taskforce members, experts representing more than 20 sectors of the economy and six continents. The Taskforce was further supported by a Consultation Group, composed of subject-matter experts from close to 100 institutions.

To respond to the Consultation Survey, please visit ScalingVCM.com. Responses may be submitted until December 10, 2020. The Taskforce will update its blueprint based on the feedback it receives, and issue a final report in January 2021, including an updated blueprint for a voluntary carbon market and a roadmap for implementation.

Download the Consultation Document here. 


 About the Taskforce:

The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets is a private sector-led initiative working to scale an effective, efficient and functioning voluntary carbon market to help meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Taskforce was initiated by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Advisor to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for COP26, is chaired by Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered and sponsored by the Institute of International Finance (IIF) under the leadership of IIF President and CEO, Tim Adams. Annette Nazareth, a partner at Davis Polk and former Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, serves as Operating Lead for the Taskforce, and McKinsey & Company provides knowledge and advisory support. The Taskforce’s participants represent the financial sector, market infrastructure providers and buyers and suppliers of carbon offsets.