A new suite of data platforms aims to enable more timely information on voluntary carbon markets price data, transactions, and dynamics, announced today by Ecosystem Marketplace, an initiative of Forest Trends. These developments will improve the ease of reporting and data connectivity for a growing global network of stakeholders including market participants and EM Carbon Survey respondents.
As private sector climate commitments such as net zero multiply, demand for more transparent carbon markets information is increasing among companies, investors, and governments. The call was amplified this week with the publication of final recommendations from the Mark Carney-led Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (“the Taskforce”), as well as a new consultation document by the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Company.
Both the Taskforce and the World Economic Forum/McKinsey reports have identified a lack of comprehensive and regular information on carbon credit transactions, pricing, and retirements being a primary bottleneck to scaling the voluntary markets.
“We are thrilled to announce what we are informally calling ‘Ecosystem Marketplace 3.0’, which will offer enhanced carbon market tracking and powerful new capabilities for data accessibility to support market transparency, a crucial ingredient for scale,” said Stephen Donofrio, Director of Ecosystem Marketplace.
“We have the largest, most dynamic dataset on voluntary carbon market transactions in the world,” said Donofrio. “Transparency is a stated goal of the Taskforce. We’re excited for our developments will up open new opportunities for collaboration and increase the regularity of our ability to benchmark progress on scaling markets.”
“Access to transparent and regular information on carbon credit volumes, pricing, and retirements have a key role to play as we scale voluntary carbon markets,” says Edward Hanrahan of the International Carbon Reduction & Offset Alliance. “Ecosystem Marketplace has long been the go-to source for objective market information through its annual market reports, and we’re excited to see this shift to offering deeper, more frequent intelligence.”
Ecosystem Marketplace is a globally recognized platform for tracking carbon markets, with data reported from projects in nearly 40 countries in 2020. Over its 15-year history, EM has surveyed the market at least once per year to produce an annual State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report.
In its pilot phase, expanded services will also include a united carbon credit issuance and retirement database from the voluntary carbon markets’ most prominent registries, including Verra, the Climate Action Reserve, American Carbon Registry, Gold Standard, and Plan Vivo. Future iterations will integrate data from additional market actors and Ecosystem Marketplace partners. The database will be updated monthly, with the capability to move to a daily service in the future in step with shifts in market liquidity.
“An enhanced online Carbon Survey platform will enable us to effectively reach more than 650 active market participants, which includes project originators, brokers, and retailers, – the largest survey of its kind available by far,” says Patrick Maguire, Senior Program Manager of Ecosystem Marketplace. Ecosystem Marketplace will also align its data collection with the Taskforce’s recommendations.
“Markets are experiencing an influx in demand for voluntary carbon offsets,” remarks Michael Jenkins, CEO of Forest Trends. “We need to build upon existing market infrastructure ready to scale rapidly, including robust and credible information. It’s the only way that voluntary carbon markets can grow without sacrificing quality.”
Ecosystem Marketplace is currently accepting applications to participate in this pilot phase. Invited pilot partners include Ecosystem Marketplace’s Strategic Supporters and a select group of committed organizations that have responded consistently to EM’s Carbon Survey. Organizations interested in participating in the pilot phase of EM 3.0 can inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2020 reports are available free for download at the EM Carbon Markets Hub.