Understanding Voluntary Carbon Markets

Photo: Zafer Kizilkaya

Increasing Access to Voluntary Carbon Markets: Enabling Landscape Restoration Projects to Understand the Costs and Benefits

Context & Opportunity

Insufficient funding is a barrier to effective landscape restoration in Europe. With less than a decade until the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change must be met, new sources of funding need to be unlocked. One such source of funding is the voluntary carbon market and carbon offsetting from the private sector. Fuelled by corporate carbon-neutral pledges, carbon offsetting schemes are increasing in popularity, with voluntary carbon markets for forestry and land use increasing in value by 2.5 times from 2017 to 2019. Within Europe, demand from the private sector for place-based carbon credits (those within a specific country or region) is growing and demand may soon outstrip supply. Similarly, demand for carbon offsets from Nature-based Solutions have increased in recent years. Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme projects may be well positioned to produce high-quality credits (demonstrating additionality in carbon terms as well as positive biodiversity and socioeconomic impacts) and benefit from the increasing demand for these. However, voluntary market certification is complex to navigate and has large upfront costs which may diminish potential returns.

This collaborative project led by UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) working with Fauna & Flora (F&F) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has developed a set of resources to improve the confidence and capacity of Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme and other restoration projects to navigate carbon standards and voluntary carbon markets. Improving understanding of if and how to access voluntary carbon markets should enable landscape and seascape restoration projects in Europe to unlock further funding through demonstrating their climate change mitigation potential.

Outputs & Achievements

This project has brought together knowledge and lessons learnt to provide clear guidance and build capacity for identifying appropriate pathways for European ecosystem restoration projects aiming to sell carbon credits.

Please view the resources panel to download the developed resources.

 

Project Partners

UNEP-WCMC
Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)
Fauna & Flora

Outputs

Accessing carbon finance for nature restoration in Europe

Accessing carbon finance for nature restoration in Europe

Guidance document to help those working on ecosystem restoration in Europe to understand and navigate their options when considering whether to engage with voluntary carbon markets to finance their projects. This guidance was developed as part of an Advancing and Applying Knowledge grant led by UNEP-WCMC, Fauna & Flora and the RSPB to help demystify carbon markets.

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Blue carbon market opportunities, challenges and outlook in Europe

Blue carbon market opportunities, challenges and outlook in Europe

This primer aims to provide an overview of existing blue carbon projects worldwide and developing blue carbon standards in Europe. It was produced as part of an Advancing and Applying Knowledge grant led by UNEP-WCMC, Fauna & Flora and the RSPB to help restoration projects navigate carbon markets.

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Case Study: Registering a peat bog rewetting project with a carbon standard, Cairngorms Connect

Case Study: Registering a peat bog rewetting project with a carbon standard, Cairngorms Connect

This case study, produced by an Advancing and Applying Knowledge grant led by UNEP-WCMC, Fauna & Flora and the RSPB, describes the process and decisions involved in setting up a peatland carbon project in the Highlands of Scotland.

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Case Study: Bringing carbon benefits to market, Făgăraș Mountains

Case Study: Bringing carbon benefits to market, Făgăraș Mountains

This case study, produced by an Advancing and Applying Knowledge grant led by UNEP-WCMC, Fauna & Flora and the RSPB, describes the process and decisions involved in setting up a forest carbon project in southern Romania.

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Case Study: Potential pathway to market for a grassland carbon project, Kakheti Steppes

Case Study: Potential pathway to market for a grassland carbon project, Kakheti Steppes

This case study, produced by an Advancing and Applying Knowledge grant led by UNEP-WCMC, Fauna & Flora and the RSPB, describes the opportunities and challenges involved when considering whether to engage in carbon markets for a project working to restore the steppe grasslands in southeast Georgia.

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