Scaling the voluntary carbon market? Let's think bigger.

At Gold Standard, we are taking steps to respond to new drivers shaping the voluntary carbon market in the new context of the Paris Agreement, the need for science-based mitigation hierarchy as well as the work of the Task Force for Scaling the Voluntary Carbon Market (TSVCM). We are also looking to the longer-term, and the role of markets in helping to achieve the global balance of emissions sinks and sources needed to achieve the goals adopted in Paris.


Climate impact claims to crowd in private sector finance

Given the binary nature of the Kyoto Protocol, under which only developed countries took on emissions limits, a “carbon neutral” target has been a simple way for companies to set ambition and take action outside their boundaries – that is, beyond what would be included in their inventory reporting – and to unlock unique claims.

Today, the picture is more complex and dynamic:


Open letter – Feedback by the Gold Standard Foundation to the TSVCM’s Phase II Public Consultation



The core stated aim of the TSVCM is to ‘scale an effective and efficient voluntary carbon market to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.’ With the assumption that effective means ‘with integrity and quality’, as stated elsewhere in this and previous documents, we highlight the following key limitations and concerns and then make recommendations regarding how to address each of them, to make these efforts credible.


Corresponding Adjustments not an Unsurmountable Obstacle - Interview with Hugh Salway

Q. The focus of Gold Standard’s recent consultation is how to align with the Paris Agreement. The growth and development of the voluntary market has in the past few decades been largely independent to government frameworks. Why is it important for you to align with the Paris Agreement?


Claims + Credibility: Embracing Diversification to Scale Carbon Markets

If total greenhouse gas emissions in new or updated country plans offer a mere 0.5% reduction, greater ambition is needed from governments to fill this gap. Can a robust voluntary carbon market play an important role in this context?


New claims for a new era of private sector carbon finance

Originally published on Carbon Pulse.

Sarah Leugers
Director of Communications, Gold Standard

We’re now in a new policy era that means that credits used to offset and claim carbon neutrality must have corresponding adjustments to give certainty that the fundamental promise of carbon offsetting – that the atmosphere is no worse off – is fulfilled.


Task Force to Scale the Voluntary Carbon Market Report

Yet scale on it own is not the marker of success; it must go hand-in-hand with quality.

The key now is to scale voluntary carbon offsetting in the right way, not just to increase the market for its own sake.


COMMENT: WWF 'Blueprint for Corporate Action on Climate and Nature' Key takeaways for the voluntary carbon market

It is welcome, clarifying guidance and provides much-needed leadership for how to prioritise and implement various levers for change companies have at their disposal, helping companies focus their efforts for greatest integrity and impact.


COMMENT: Taskforce to Scale the Voluntary Carbon Market: How to scale without sacrificing quality

Originally published on Carbon Pulse.

Owen Hewlett, Chief Technical Officer, Gold Standard

The Task Force’s objective to scale the voluntary carbon market, bringing increased investment capital to climate protection projects as well as infrastructure and processes to improve efficiencies and increase transparency is a welcome market development.