Although the voluntary carbon market is booming, the quantitative data regarding these markets has been sorely lacking. In order to address this, the Ecosystem Marketplace, in its second annual report, looks at how the voluntary carbon market has grown in recent years; where carbon offset projects are being funded; who is buying the offsets and why; what types of projects are most popular; and what type of growth is expected in the market. It also highlights the emergence of more than twenty independent standards for verifying and validating voluntary offsets, which is compiled based on transaction data collected from 150 organizations, including project developers, wholesalers, brokers and retailers, selling carbon credits to voluntary buyers. The report gives an extensive look at the voluntary carbon market and is a useful tool, reference and guide for businesses already involved in or looking to take part in voluntary carbon offsets. It also answered fundamental questions about the size, players, project types, prices, and transaction volumes of the voluntary markets.Using the market-wide quantitative survey and analysis of the over-the-counter (OTC) market, this report identifies several key trends in the voluntary carbon markets. Among the highlights are:
the average price paid to offset one ton of CO2 rose 49% from 2006 to 2007, with a rise of $4.10/t to $6.10/t
volume in the over-the-counter (OTC) market nearly tripled in 2007, to 42 million tonnes of carbon credits
a confirmed total volume of 65 million tonnes was transacted in the voluntary carbon market in 2007
in 2007 the international OTC market was valued at $258 million. The global voluntary market was worth a total of $331 million in 2007. This more than triples the 2006 market value of $97 million
the percentage of projects sourced from Asia nearly doubled, from 22% in 2006 to 39% in 2007, while the percentage of projects sourced in Africa actually declined both in market share (6% to 2%) and – more disturbingly – in absolute terms
buyers of voluntary credits tend to purchase offsets that most closely resemble those of the compliance market rather than indulge in the sort of experimentation and innovation that many believe the markets offer.