New global standard set to boost confidence in voluntary offset market

23 July 2007

On July 23rd The °Climate Group welcomed a report published by the Environmental Audit Committee calling for "robust and helpful guidance" to drive credible offset schemes and maintain confidence in the voluntary offset market.

The °Climate Group has spent two years in conjunction with the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) consulting with industry and market specialists on the development of a new global Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS), aimed at providing exactly the rigour and environmental integrity called for by the EAC.

Mark Kenber, Policy Director of The °Climate Group says: "All the stakeholders in the emerging voluntary carbon market recognise that standards are critical. Our Voluntary Carbon Standard launching later this year will introduce a stringent quality assurance to the market and underpin consumer confidence, market credibility and innovation in low carbon technologies."

The °Climate Group always advocates direct cuts in emissions as the first step for any individual or business, but believes that Government regulation and appeals for people to change their behaviour will not be sufficient alone to achieve the carbon reductions needed at the speed required. It sees carbon offsetting as a valuable transition solution because it allows additional investment in carbon reductions over and above that which Government regulations have achieved, and makes those reductions wherever they can be made fastest and at the lowest cost.

Explaining the valuable role of the voluntary carbon market, Mark Kenber, says: "Urgent and drastic action is required to stabilise climate change. The voluntary carbon market has an important role to play in bringing down emissions quickly and priming the pump of clean green innovation while the politics catches up."

Although the final version is yet to launch, the Voluntary Carbon Standard has already attracted significant interest from companies like News Corporation, Google and Yahoo. Current market participants estimate that annual transactions in the voluntary carbon market could reach a billion tonnes by 2012.


For further information, please contact Tom Howard-Vyse on 020 7960 2991 or email


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