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Global Governance Body Planned for Voluntary Carbon Markets

A new governance body will be formed to standardise operations of voluntary carbon markets and unify them behind a consistent set of values and standards.

The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets has issued a new report setting out the next steps that are needed for the creation of a scaled, high-integrity voluntary market for the trading of carbon credits.

The taskforce, sponsored by the IIF (Institute of International Finance), is a private sector-led initiative launched by former BOE (Bank of England) governor Mark Carney and Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters.

It has been working to establish the infrastructure for a scaled and high-integrity voluntary market for the trading and exchange of carbon credits since September 2020. Part of this work was to conduct an in-depth public consultation, from which the taskforce received 130 responses from experts across the carbon market value chain.

The new report says an Independent Governance Body will be formed by year-end to accelerate the transition to net zero through a high-integrity voluntary carbon market. The new governance body will help to reduce fragmentation in markets and ensure the quality and integrity of carbon credits.

“Our consultation shows that diverse stakeholders across the world want to see a unified voluntary carbon market, with high quality carbon credits and legal standards, and overseen by a strong and independent governance body,” said Winters, who chairs the taskforce.

The new governance body – which will be independent of the taskforce – will comprise a board of directors, expert panel, executive secretariat and member-led consultation group. Expressions of interest to join the governance body are now open.

The body will set legal principles to guide the market and the criteria for carbon credit integrity – i.e. the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs).

The governance body will promote the development of the global voluntary carbon market through standardisation and the introduction of high-quality thresholds that will support market growth.

Alongside establishing the CCPs and legal standards, the governance body will oversee standard setting organisations on adherence to the CCPs and coordinate work between individual bodies within the carbon market – including NGOs, market participants and credit providers.

“The Governance Body will seek to standardise the voluntary carbon market’s operations and unify the market behind a consistent set of values and standards, promoting consistency on quality and enabling the market to scale at speed,” the taskforce said.

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