Governments: use voluntary carbon markets to boost sustainable development

Governments: use voluntary carbon markets to boost sustainable development

Governments can use voluntary carbon markets to tap into additional greenhouse gas mitigation. If they actively engage in voluntary carbon markets, carbon markets can serve to attract investment in priority sectors. This is the main recommendation resulting from the VCM Global Dialogue that is launching its Vision and Action Agenda today. The Vision and Action Agenda summarise the positions, carbon market experiences and views of over 350 VCM stakeholders in Asia, Africa and Latin America including government representatives, project developers and civil society. The dialogue has taken place in an extensive consultation process in the past half year. 

“This recommendation is significant and marks a turning point in the appreciation of voluntary carbon markets”, says Climate Focus managing partner Adriaan Korthuis, “as voluntary carbon markets so far have developed and flourished far away from any government interference. Furthermore, the VCM Global Dialogue turns the focus of the discussion on carbon markets to the supply side, emphasising the power of these markets to contribute to more ambitious climate action and sustainable development in developing countries. This is a welcome addition to the ongoing discussion on how corporates in developed countries are using carbon credits as part of their climate neutral strategies.” 

Charlotte Streck, Climate Focus managing partner and coordinating author of the Vision and Action Agenda adds: “the VCM can empower local actors, private and public, to raise funds and contribute to addressing the climate crisis while generating important additional social and environmental benefits. These groups -indigenous peoples in particular- play a critical role in the management of natural resources, including the restoration, protection, and management of forests and lands. However, so far, Indigenous Peoples and local communities have received little financial support and scarce recognition for their contribution. The VCM Global Dialogue has – again – made clear that these communities can widely benefit from voluntary carbon markets, and comes with concrete recommendations how to ensure the benefits land with them.” 

The Vision and Action Agenda furthermore sheds light on the ongoing discussion on accounting of emission reductions in the voluntary carbon market and under the Paris Agreement, and provides an opening how to tackle the sometimes fierce debate on who can claim which benefits from a carbon credit project. The recommendations are timely, a week before climate change negotiators meet in Glasgow to address, amongst others, the rules and procedures for sharing emission reduction benefits under the Paris Agreement.  

The Vision and Action Agenda of the VCM Global Dialogue have been coordinated and developed by Climate Focus, the Indonesian Research Institute for Decarbonisation (IRID), SouthSouthNorth (SSN) and Transforma and has been supported by Verra. 

The Vision and Action Agenda can be downloaded here.