Voluntary carbon credits go global
Having overcome various technical problems, the regional markets for voluntary carbon credits are now united. Traders are hoping for a future US scheme to enlarge the market.
The Voluntary Carbon Standard Association (VCSA) has completed six months of efforts to unite regional markets in North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.
The new global registry ensures that carbon credits can be traded across markets. The global community can remain certain that each credit will be tracked all the way until it is eventually retired.
The idea behind the credits is for them to be retired once the underlying project, often in a third world country, has been realized and has achieved the planned mitigation results.
The global registry was presented this year in March, but various technical problems had to be overcome.
"We are very pleased that the registry functionality originally envisioned (…) is now fully in place. Being able to transfer VCUs (Voluntary Carbon Units) from one registry to another broadens the scope for transactions," David Antonioli, chief executive of the VCSA, says, according to Reuters.
Voluntary carbon credits are typically bought by companies wanting to show customers and business partners they are offsetting their emissions. VCSA estimates the global market for voluntary credits to be at 330 million US dollars.
The market may be increased substantially if, as many expect, US legislation brings about a cap-and-trade scheme.