The decisions on the Article 6 rulebook taken at the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow, mark a milestone for international carbon markets. After years of negotiations, Parties have agreed on a set of rules, which allows Parties to cooperate in implementing their climate change targets.
But what does the Glasgow outcome mean for the so-called voluntary carbon market (VCM)? What are the implications for a market that is facing a more and more capped environment due to the new regulations while at the same time experiencing an enormous increase in demand? How can the quality of credits be ensured, given the tremendous quantities that would be needed to meet the demand? And under what circumstances should companies that use certificates to offset their emissions be allowed to make statements like "we are climate neutral"?
Against this background, the newest issue of the Carbon Mechanisms Review "Great Expectations – Will the voluntary carbon market rise to the challenge?" looks at ways forward for the VCM after Glasgow by first taking a deep dive into the current challenges of the market and possible solutions. In the Cover Feature "Keeping Promises?" Nicolas Kreibich, Senior Researcher in the Global Climate Governance Research Unit at the Wuppertal Institute, deals with the new circumstances introduced with the adoption of the Paris Agreement and how the voluntary carbon market can align with them.
A second article analyses the situation of host countries – in which the climate change mitigation projects are located – and how the application of the VCM can be promoted in sectors where other policy tools are absent or inefficient or where public funding is limited. Further, the magazine portrays a recently started initiative which aims at assessing the quality of carbon credits through a web-based tool. Elsewhere the issue features an analysis on supporting Article 6 integration in NDCs and NDC implementation plans. Last not least, an interview with Mary Grady from Architecture for REDD+ Transactions and the American Carbon Registry, and Axel Michaelowa from the think tank Perspectives and the University of Zurich on ways to implement carbon forest standards successfully while at the same time ensuring environmental integrity is published in the issue.
The Carbon Mechanisms Review no. 2/2022 "Great Expectations" is available free of charge under the link below.