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Voluntary Carbon Markets Double In Size And Value In 2008

May 21, 2009
123 million tons of carbon credits valued at US$705 million were transacted in the voluntary carbon markets in 2008. The average price for voluntary offset credits increased 20% to $7.34/tCO2e.

The voluntary carbon markets doubled in both transaction volume and value in 2008 according to the report Fortifying the Foundation: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2009, released May 20. Consistent with the trend in 2007, this represents more than twice the aggregate 2008 growth rate of the regulated carbon markets across the globe.

“Over the past three years, we have witnessed this market grow rapidly in volume and maturity. The 2008 markets saw further establishment of offset standards and the initial integration of registries, while continuing to serve as an incubation space for project types not currently accepted in the Kyoto markets,” said Katherine Hamilton, Managing Director of Ecosystem Marketplace, coauthor of the report and editor of Voluntary Carbon Markets.

The volume in the CCX market tripled to 69.2 million tonnes of carbon credits, whereas volume in the OTC market only increased by 26% to 54 million tonnes in 2008. CCX market value quadrupled in 2008, from $72 million in 2007 to $307 million in 2008, while OTC market value grew an estimated 52%, from $262 million in 2007 to $397 million in 2008.

Credits originating from projects in the E.U. & Eastern Europe declined sharply from 13% in 2007 to 1% in 2008. The U.S., however, remained the largest source of voluntary carbon credits of any country, supplying 28% of the OTC market, as well as the largest source of demand, at 39%.

Corporate social responsibility and public relations benefits remained the most popular customer motivations for buying voluntary offsets, according to credit sellers, and the most popular sources of carbon offsets were renewable energy projects, supplying more than 50% of the total volume of credits transacted in 2008.

The revised and updated second edition of Voluntary Carbon Markets is edited by Ricardo Bayon (a co-founder of EKO Asset Management Partners), Amanda Hawn (a Manager of Advisory services at New Forests) and Katherine Hamilton (Managing Director of Ecosystem Marketplace).

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