Final Report from the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets

Final Report from the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets

January 29, 2021

Clarity and guidance to foster much-needed project work on climate action.

The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) published its final report on 27 January. As a member of the advisory group, ClimatePartner was actively involved in defining the foundations for future voluntary carbon markets and creating guidelines for companies and markets.

The Taskforce and the associated advisory group are composed of representatives from more than 90 companies and organisations from a wide variety of sectors, including project developers and suppliers, buying agents, financial institutions and other service providers. The group was established by Mark Carney, UN special envoy for climate action, in the run-up to the COP26 World Climate Summit. Its goal is to further expand the voluntary carbon markets and thus help achieve the climate goals agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement.

Voluntary emissions trading can be a significant tool in limiting global warming. In order to limit it to 1.5 °C, emissions need to be reduced to net zero by 2050. To achieve this, it is necessary to increase the market volume 15 to 20-fold by 2030.

Framework and guidance for projects to take on climate action

The recommendations of the report are primarily aimed at the private sector, i.e. at companies and investors. They were developed by current and potential future players in the market in order to ensure that the voluntary offsets market can fulfil the needs of its participants without jeopardising the purpose to decarbonise the atmosphere.

The report’s core observations were:

  • The principle of carbon offsetting to achieve climate neutrality has a central role on the path towards Net Zero. It plays an important complementary role together with carbon reduction and removals to accelerate climate action.
  • The Task Force expects a strengthened and established carbon market to mobilize finance for investment in developing and emerging economies, which is also identified as central to achieving the 1.5 degree target in the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • In plans to decarbonize their operations and value chains in line with science-based targets, companies should disclose their commitments, detailed transition plans and annual progress. This will be based on regular accounting of their carbon footprint, which will also be the foundation for further actions and plans.

The report wants to establish structures and frameworks for the voluntary emissions market and builds on an earlier consultation paper which included feedback from more than 160 participants. It outlines a roadmap for the growth and expansion of such a market in order to respond to the increasing demand.

Dr Sascha Lafeld, Head of Carbon Offset & Green Energy Services at Climate Partner, welcomes the publication of the report: “The activity of the Taskforce and the final report are providing the important work on climate action and emissions offsetting with an important framework, which also brings more security and better planning. These factors are central to ensuring that more projects can be launched and, with their clear effect on climate and their social added value, contribute to achieving the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.”