Information for G00034
IIED & nef round-table discussion: Can Voluntary Carbon Offsets assist Development
Document begins: IIED & nef round-table discussion: Can Voluntary Carbon Offsets assist Development 26 October 2006 Working Paper on The Voluntary Carbon Market: Current & Future Market Status, and Implications for Development Benefits By Elizabeth Harris Background to research To establish an understanding of the current project-based voluntary carbon market characteristics, operation and issues a questionnaire was sent to market intermediaries (retailers) worldwide. 35 responses were obtained from an identified worldwide population of 53 retailers (sample of 66%) including nine interviews, supported by secondary data from retailers' websites. Current market characteristics Market participants Still in early stages of development, the voluntary market consists of a small but growing number of retailers located predominantly in Europe, notably the UK. The USA is also increasingly important. Small, exclusively focused retailers dominate the market comprising approximately half of all intermediaries, though larger brokers offering more sophisticated services are becoming active in this market. Illustrating its evolving status, a voluntary offset fund (Climate Wedge) has recently been established by a well known hedge fund manager, Cheyne Capital. The intention is to significantly upscale volumes and promote a market infrastructure. Business dominates demand principally to offset operational activities but also through a growing trend to offset ...