New Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets

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Voluntary carbon markets must only support NbS that are ecologically and socially responsible, and that secure carbon in the long term.

The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets is an initiative aiming to scale an effective and efficient voluntary carbon market. The aim is to bring together key players from across the entire carbon market value chain, to provide recommendations on the most pressing challenges facing the carbon market. The Taskforce is private-sector led, and has over 50 members, including buyers and sellers of carbon credits, standard setters, financial sector members and market infrastructure providers. It was initiated by Mark Carney, who is UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance Advisor for COP26.

It is of critical importance that carbon markets only support nature-based interventions that are ecologically sound and socially responsible: i.e. support biodiversity and are implemented with, by and for local people. The Taskforce states that voluntary carbon markets must have high environmental integrity and minimise any risks of negative consequences – they must seek to do no harm. This can in part be achieved by following the NbS guidelines and IUCN’s Global Standard for NbS. However, there is a need for greater regulation with respect to the type of interventions that qualify as offsets. The Taskforce states that to ensure the integrity of carbon credits, Core Carbon Principles need to be established, as well as principles for when offsets can be used, so that they do not disincentivise actions to cut primary emissions. It is vital that scientists, practitioners and others involved with NbS engage with the creation of such principles, to help ensure that carbon markets drive implementation of high quality NbS.

Read the consultation document here.