Brian McFarland

Brian McFarland

Despite the global recession, the voluntary carbon markets grew by 87% from 2007 to 2008 according to the recently released, “Fortifying the Foundation: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2009,” a joint report by Ecosystem Marketplace and New Carbon Finance. Carbonfund.org, in conjunction with 182 organizations from 28 countries, provided information to the annual survey. Some key findings include: * 123.4 million metric tonnes of carbon offsets were transacted in 2008; 56% of which were transacted through the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) * As of 2008, the voluntary carbon market – in terms of volume - is still less than 3% compared to the regulated/compliance market * The three largest project types transacted over-the-counter in 2008 were: Hydroelectric (32%); Landfill (16%) and Wind Energy (15%) * Asia (45%) and United States (28%) were the most popular locations of voluntary offset projects throughout 2008 * Third party verification and certification has always been a cornerstone of Carbonfund.org, and the voluntary market became more open and transparent as no less than 95% of all carbon offsets transacted in 2008 were verified by third parties * With 17 identified certification standards, the over-the-counter voluntary carbon market saw a consolidation of standards among the top four: Voluntary Carbon Standard (48%), The Gold Standard (12%), Climate Action Reserve (10%), and the American Carbon Registry (9%) * Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations remain the two driving forces for buyers within the over-the-counter voluntary market For more information, please contact Carbonfund.org. The full report and executive summary are available for free from Ecosystem Marketplace (http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/) and New Carbon Finance (http://www.newcarbonfinance.com/).
rtf In 2007, Carbonfund.org and Paso Pacifico began working together to develop the Return to Forest Project. This ongoing reforestation effort is located in the Rivas and Granada Provinces of southwestern Nicaragua and covers nearly 1,000 acres. In addition to sequestering nearly 170,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the Project also helps restore critical habitat corridors for wildlife, such as the Yellow-Naped Parrot and Central American Spider Monkey. Furthermore, the Return to Forest was awarded the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) Standards' Gold Rating due to its incorporation of sustainable, local jobs and educational opportunities. Regarding educational opportunities, the Return to Forest Project was recently visited by students and professors from the International Course in Protected Areas Management. This course, which was organized by Conservation International and CATIE of Costa Rica sought to give protected area managers the practical tools for restoring and protecting tropical ecosystems. The course included case studies and visits to National Parks and Private Reserves across Costa Rica and Nicaragua. At the Return to Forest Project, students learned methods for planting and managing a diversity of native trees. They also learned how carbon offset projects can support landowners in the creation of new protected areas or private reserves. This Project is supported by donors to Carbonfund.org. You can learn more about the project by visiting our projects page at www.carbonfund.org/projects.