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Forest Trends Releases ‘State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2014′

Sharing the Stage28 May 2014: Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace has released its 2014 round-up of where voluntary carbon markets stand globally. The report, titled 'Sharing the Stage: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2014,' finds that while US$379 million were invested in carbon offsets in 2013, this total fell short of 2012 levels by 26.7%, or US$144 million. However, according to Forest Trends, many of these tons were still transacted, but under compliance regimes, rather than voluntarily.

According to the report, 90% of 2013 offset purchases came from companies that have purchased offsets in the past. Corporations such as Chevrolet, Marks & Spencer and Allianz bought enough offsets to avoid/sequester 76 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Offsets were derived from a range of environmental projects, from wind energy to avoided deforestation to clean cookstoves. The average price per ton dropped by 16% over 2012 to US$4.90.

European organizations were the largest source of voluntary buyers, which purchased 28 million tons of carbon offsets in 2013. This total was 36% short of the 2012 figure, a drop that was attributed to slow economic recovery and a pessimistic outlook for Europe's regulatory carbon market. Projects that prevented deforestation (REDD+) were the largest source of offsets, with 22.6 million tons sold (compared to 8.6 million tons in 2012). These transactions represented a record for forest conservation projects, driven by an agreement between the German development bank KfW and the Brazilian State of Acre.

Forest Trends is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting forest conservation by "convening market players to advance market transformations, generating and disseminating critical information to market players, and facilitating deals between different critical links in the value chains of new forestry." Ecosystem Marketplace is a Forest Trends initiative that provides news, data and information on markets and payments for ecosystem services. [Forest Trends Press Release] [Forest Trends Publication Webpage] [Publication: Sharing the Stage: State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2014 Executive Summary] [Forest Trends Website]