The value of the global voluntary carbon market has topped $1 billion in 2021, according to information and analysis group Ecosystem Marketplace.
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As the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow entered its penultimate day, Ecosystem Marketplace prepared a special report providing a snapshot of the voluntary market for carbon credits.
"Now, with recently reported trades by EM respondents, the VCM has exceeded this major $1 billion market value milestone," the group said in a statement late Nov. 10.
"The additional 59.1 million mt CO2e of 2021 VCM carbon credit trades have a corresponding market value of $258.2 million," it said in an update to a report released Sept. 15.
The latest additions since Aug. 31 brought the total value of the VCM in the year to Nov. 9 to $1.006 billion. That compared with a value of $748 million it reported in September. The volume traded in the period Jan. 1 to Nov. 9 was 298.4 million mt CO2e, it said.
The average weighted price for carbon credits in the year to Nov. 9 stood at $3.37/mt CO2e, it said.
The average value reported by Ecosystem Marketplace reflects a period of much lower prices for carbon credits earlier in 2021.
CORSIA-eligible carbon (CEC) credit prices have surged by 944% in 2021, with the value pegged at $8.35/mt at the close Nov. 10, according to S&P Global Platts assessments, compared with 80 cents/mt on Jan. 4.
Nature-based carbon credit prices, meanwhile, have increased by 173% in 2021 to $12.70/mt as of Nov. 10, compared with $4.64/mt when the assessment was launched on June 14, according to Platts price data.
Total demand for voluntary carbon credits is expected to increase by a factor of at least 15 by 2030, and by up to 100 by 2050, according to the private sector-led Taskforce on Scaling the Voluntary Carbon Markets.
Carbon credits provide a way for companies to meet net-zero emissions targets and drive private finance to climate action projects that would not otherwise get off the ground, ranging from reforestation programs in Brazil to clean cookstove projects in sub-Saharan Africa.