Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets
2021 will be a defining year for the voluntary carbon market. In 2020, the number of companies making net-zero emission pledges tripled to more than 1,500. As we head towards COP26 this year, many will start to set out defined pathways for reaching that goal.
For some businesses, avoiding and reducing emissions will not be enough to reach zero, or an emissions trajectory consistent with the Paris Agreement. Carbon credits can help. 95% of Shell Environmental Products’ customers are already actively reducing their carbon footprint, adopting cleaner technologies and new operating models to reduce overall emissions, but they are looking for carbon credits to help them close the gap.
To meet the increasing demand for credits the market will need to expand, by at least 15 times. But it is vital that growth does not come at the expense of credibility. As more businesses transition towards net zero, we need a more liquid and transparent carbon market, where businesses and their stakeholders can be sure of the efficacy of the credits they buy.
Recognising this, the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets was launched last year by a group of more than 40 business leaders. By creating global principles for verifying carbon credits and transparent trading infrastructure, the Taskforce aims to scale up the market, raise standards and build confidence in the integrity of carbon offsetting.
We are excited to be playing an active role in that. Shell joined the Taskforce last year, because we believe that high-quality carbon credits are an essential complement to absolute emissions reductions, that finance should be channelled into projects that mitigate or remove greenhouse gases right now, while companies develop the tools to avoid or reduce their emissions.
We want companies to be able to set out plans for reducing their carbon footprint, knowing that any carbon credits they include make a real impact. We want a market that ensures more buyers have access to quality projects that deliver additional benefits to the communities around them.
Our team has benefited from over 15 years building relationships with projects and we know the importance of due diligence. We believe in the quality of the credits in our portfolio. We are looking forward to working with the Taskforce to share our experience and learn from others, helping to grow a voluntary carbon market that enables more companies to meet their net-zero ambitions with confidence.