London — A group of banks and other financial companies has teamed up with the Singapore Exchange to launch a trading platform for voluntary carbon offset credits, the companies said May 20.
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Climate Impact X is a joint venture between DBS Bank, Singapore Exchange, international banking group Standard Chartered and investment company Temasek.
"CIX will leverage satellite monitoring, machine learning and blockchain technology to enhance the transparency, integrity and quality of carbon credits that deliver tangible and lasting environmental impact," the companies said in a statement.
Global efforts to address climate change have been driving demand for solutions to help corporates reduce their carbon emissions.
However, today's low-carbon technologies including current renewable energy solutions are unlikely to be enough in the near term, and high quality carbon credits can help bridge the gap to meet the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature goal, the companies said.
"Climate Impact X will provide a solution for corporates to address unavoidable carbon emissions in the near term and propel the development of new carbon credit projects worldwide," said interim Climate Impact X CEO Mikkel Larsen.
"With an initial focus on Natural Climate Solutions, the carbon credits will also create impetus to address another grave risk of biodiversity loss and help serve local communities," he said in the statement.
Natural climate solutions involve protection and restoration of natural ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and mangroves.
Asia is home to a third of the global supply potential and is therefore one of the largest suppliers globally, the companies said.
Offsets demand expectations
Driven by corporate climate commitments, global demand for high-quality carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market is estimated to increase by at least fifteenfold by 2030, up to 1.5 billion-2 billion mt of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the companies said.
"Despite this, there are still challenges to address in today's market. For example, trust among investors and buyers may still be limited by a lack of transparency over the risks and effectiveness of carbon projects," the companies said.
As a result, suppliers may face challenges in developing new carbon reduction projects, resulting in market liquidity issues, it said.
"By facilitating a well-functioning marketplace with strong impact and risk data, CIX will enable efficient price discovery and catalyze the development of new projects," said Larsen.
The CIX will offer two distinct platforms that cater to the different needs of carbon credit buyers and sellers, it said.
These include the Exchange, which will facilitate the sale of large-scale high-quality carbon credits through standardized contracts – catering primarily to multinational corporations and institutional investors, and the Project Marketplace, which will offer a curated selection of projects that can help meet companies' sustainability objectives.
Each project on the Project Marketplace will be supported by transparent environmental impact, risk and pricing data, the companies said.
CIX will be guided by an international advisory council comprising of independent NGOs, corporates, project developers and academics, and it will also work with international working groups including the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets and the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance to align on leading standards for quality and integrity.
In the voluntary carbon market, CORSIA-eligible carbon, or CEC, credit prices rose as high as $2.34/mt in March, compared with 80 cents/mt in January, when S&P Global Platts launched a daily price assessment.
CEC prices were pegged at $2.11/mt at the close May 19, unchanged from May 18, according to Platts assessments.