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Voluntary carbon markets doubled last year

euroThe voluntary carbon markets doubled in both transaction volume and value in 2008, according to Ecosystem Marketplace and New Carbon Finance’s report, “Fortifying the Foundation: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2009.”

Released this week, the report finds that voluntary carbon market transactions totalled about 123 million tonnes of carbon credits valued at $705 million (US) in 2008, up from 65 million tonnes of credits valued at $331 million in 2007.

“With cap and trade expanding globally, the voluntary markets are starting to play a crucial role in project development and capacity building as companies start to prepare for emission caps,” said Milo Sjardin, head of North America for New Carbon Finance and a co-author of the report. “At the same time, the continued prominence of European demand ensures that the voluntary markets also have a unique role to play alongside compliance markets.

Among the report’s findings: Asia continued to be the region generating the most offsets for the voluntary markets, sourcing 45 per cent of all carbon credits bought on the OTC market in 2008, while credits originating from projects in the EU and Eastern Europe declined sharply from 13 per cent in 2007 to 1 per cent in 2008. The US remained the largest source of voluntary carbon credits of any country, supplying 28 per cent of the OTC market, as well as the largest source of demand, at 39 per cent.

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