Three groups, The Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, representing some of the biggest sellers and buyers of carbon offsets, have announced the Voluntary Carbon Standard which is intended to distinguish offsets that are real from those that aren’t, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Companies or individuals not bound by the Kyoto agreement use voluntary-offset market to show they are addressing global warming. Companies using offsets to meet pledges they have made to go green are worried about the public-relations fallout if the offsets turn out to be bogus. That’s where the VCS comes in. VCS’s developers think public pressure will push many companies to adhere to the new standard.
The voluntary carbon market grew by 200 percent in 2006, with 2007 already proving to be a blow-out in terms of volume and market entrants. Celent says the voluntary market will cross $58 billion by 2012.
Earlier this month, six non-profits, also including The Climate Group, involved in greenhouse gas reduction policy formed the Offset Quality Initiative.
The OQI says it will develop and promote consensus policy positions on how to include greenhouse gas offsets in current and future state, regional and national climate change policy.