Global climate flows are on track to surpass $2 trillion in 2023 up from $1.4 trillion in 2022. While still well short of the estimated $8.6 trillion annual pace needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the pickup reflects the strong growth in climate finance commitments in recent years.
Voluntary carbon credit issuance and retirement have cooled significantly amidst integrity concerns, highlighting the need for private sector-led initiatives like the ICVCM Core Carbon Principles to be operationalized as soon as possible.
Voluntary carbon credit issuance picked up significantly in Q2 2023, as the ICVCM Core Carbon Principles and Assessment Framework were launched. Greater collaboration between the supply-side ICVCM and demand-side Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) will support market development and rapidly growth in demand as companies ramp up climate commitments.
Global climate flows surpassed $1.1 trillion in 2022 - up over 25% from $870 billion in 2021. However, this is still well short of what will be needed to achieve net-zero emissions. ESG stock and bond market performance improved in Q2 2023. Despite rapid growth, ESG integration in global debt markets is still at an early stage: just 6.1% of total debt issuance in Q2 2023 was ESG-linked.
Amid tighter monetary and financial market conditions, ESG fund flows remain subdued and volatile. After large outflows in March, April saw a slight recovery in investor appetite for ESG funds. However, outflows from emerging market ESG funds accelerated in April.
The voluntary carbon markets continue to gain momentum despite financial market volatility in recent months. The proliferation of net zero targets by large corporates remains the major driver of market expansion.
Progress by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) and the release of the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) will help address ongoing concerns about voluntary carbon credit quality a must to support market expansion; Greater price transparency will also help: in this first edition of our new Voluntary Carbon Markets Monitor, we introduce a registry transparency index to assess disclosure of the registries that track and validate the quality of carbon credit projects.
Voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) are featuring prominently in discussions at COP27, as multiple initiatives are being launched to support their critical role in scaling up finance to emerging and developing economies.
The size of the voluntary carbon market has grown rapidly in recent years despite a marked slowdown this year. Looking ahead, the rise in corporate net-zero pledges (particularly from firms in carbon intensive sectors) should underpin demand and support the expansion in voluntary carbon markets growth in years to come.
Offset issuance in voluntary carbon markets declined sharply in Q1 2022-the slowest pace of issuance since Q3 2020. Most of the issuance came from China, the DRC, Indonesia, India, the U.S. and Turkey in Q1.