Mark Carney spearheads new taskforce to scale up carbon offsetting markets

 3 September 2020

Mark Carney spearheads new taskforce to scale up carbon offsetting markets

Former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is spearheading an initiative to scale up voluntary carbon credit markets, sponsored by the Institute of International Finance.  The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets will work to take stock of existing voluntary offsetting schemes and identify key challenges to scaling them up while ensuring credibility and avoiding issues like double-counting.

At the launch event on 2 September Mark Carney said that the current market for offsets needs to grow at least 15-fold by 2030 if the private sector is to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree trajectory. By 2050, it may need to be 160 times bigger than in 2020, if corporates will rely on offsetting rather than emissions reductions. The Taskforce aim is to deliver this scaling up, along with helping businesses to align with legally binding climate targets in the markets where they operate, and also to play a role in boosting carbon prices.

Members of the Taskforce include representatives from Unilever, Nestle, Siemens, Shell, BP, Tata Steel, BlackRock, the Bank of America, Standard Chartered and more (see edie’s original article on the subject here).  Carbon offsetting specialists such as ClimateCare, Natural Capital Partners and Verra are represented, and advisory support will be provided by McKinsey & Company.

In a statement Carney said “The financial sector can use their expertise in building market infrastructure to create a carbon offset market which connects this demand with supply.”

According to a Reuters article here, Chair of the Taskforce and Group Chief Executive of bank Standard Chartered said “By scaling voluntary carbon markets and allowing a global price for carbon to emerge, companies will have the right tools and incentives to reduce emissions at [the] least cost”

Having such backing for global carbon offsetting schemes may drive forward the ability for organisations to work toward net-zero and also increase global carbon prices so that emissions reductions proposals are more actively administered. The Taskforce is a series of initiatives that has strong financial backing, and it will be interesting to see how financial influence speeds up developments in this area.