Letter: Don’t overlook the role of the carbon credits marketMaría Mendiluce
This article was first published in The Financial Times.
We must not overlook the role that voluntary carbon markets can play in accelerating near-term action to reduce emissions, not only in Africa but globally (“Carbon credit credibility is vital for African businesses”, Special Reports, November 30).
While these markets have faced rightful scrutiny, recent advances have tightened the rule book for how carbon credits are generated, used and documented to ensure much more transparency and accountability.
This new set of “high-integrity” credits will help incentivise businesses, alongside governments, to step up to their corporate climate commitments more quickly and credibly.
This is urgent as annual corporate climate finance has increased by just 5 per cent since 2018, from $183bn to $192bn.
Carbon markets are not a panacea, but they do offer a cost-effective and viable pathway for companies to act alongside much-needed investments to decarbonise their own operations and those of their suppliers.
Research shows that companies purchasing carbon credits are investing three times more on emissions reduction efforts within their own supply chains and are nearly twice as likely to decarbonise year-over-year compared with those who do not purchase credits.
Despite this, companies purchasing carbon credits are more likely to be criticised than commended, and the voluntary carbon market remains a relatively untapped source of potential climate finance.