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  • Published In : Dec 2023
  • Code : CMI6177
  • Pages :165
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Smart Technologies

The Global Carbon Offset Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 414.80 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 1,800.62 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.3% from 2023 to 2030.

The carbon offset market is a vital component of efforts to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In this market, individuals, businesses, and organizations can invest in projects that counterbalance their own carbon emissions by supporting initiatives that remove or prevent an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. These projects can include activities such as reforestation, renewable energy generation, methane capture, and more. As the world grapples with the urgency of climate action, the carbon offset market plays a crucial role in enabling entities to take responsibility for their carbon footprint and contribute to global environmental goals. The carbon offset market has gained prominence as governments, corporations, and individuals increasingly recognize the importance of addressing climate change. Companies striving for sustainability and consumers seeking to minimize their environmental impact often turn to carbon offset programs to complement their emission reduction strategies. The market's growth is fueled by the growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility, regulatory incentives, and international agreements like the Paris Agreement.

Carbon Offset Market Regional Insights

  • North America: North America is the largest market for carbon offsets, with a share of over 16.2% in 2023. North America, led by the U.S. and Canada, holds a significant share in the carbon offset market. The region's proactive stance on climate change and well-established regulatory mechanisms have driven the adoption of carbon offset initiatives among corporations and individuals. A strong emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility, coupled with a robust renewable energy sector, has spurred demand for carbon offset projects, including reforestation, renewable energy projects, and methane capture.
  • Europe: Europe is the second largest market for carbon offsets, with a share of over 43.5% in 2023. Europe is another prominent player in the carbon offset market. The European Union's ambitious climate goals and comprehensive emissions trading system have created a favorable environment for carbon offset activities. Countries within the EU prioritize emissions reductions and have established well-regulated offset markets. This region is known for its investments in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and afforestation initiatives, contributing to the growth of the carbon offset market.
  • Asia Pacific: Asia Pacific is the third largest market for carbon offsets, with a share of over 21.7% in 2023. The Asia Pacific region is witnessing a growing interest in carbon offset initiatives, driven by both increasing environmental awareness and the region's economic growth. Countries like China and India are starting to adopt carbon offset programs, with a focus on renewable energy, afforestation, and sustainable development projects. As these economies seek to balance industrial growth with environmental responsibility, the demand for carbon offset opportunities is on the rise.

Figure 1. Global Carbon Offset Market Share (%), by Region, 2023


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Analyst Viewpoint:

The carbon offset market continues to witness steady growth over the past few years. Major drivers contributing to the increased demand are rising concerns over climate change and growing regulation on carbon emissions. Many corporations are actively looking to offset their carbon footprint and work towards becoming carbon neutral by investing in offset projects. The adoption of net zero emission targets by several nations and international pressure to reduce greenhouse gases will further boost the sector.

However, concerns around the additionality, permanence, and verification of offset projects pose challenges. This acts as a restraint as buyers want assurance that the offsets are real, measurable, and long-lasting. Another issue is the fragmented nature of the market with different project standards and methodologies across regions. This brings complexity to companies operating globally.

Moving ahead, the voluntary carbon market is expected to see higher growth compared to compliance. Emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Latin America with growing economies are forecasted to emerge as the fastest growing regions buoyed by infrastructure development and industrialization. New offset categories around nature-based solutions also provide opportunities as more buyers are interested in multi-benefit offsets addressing carbon alongside biodiversity or community goals.

Carbon Offset Market Drivers:

  • Regulatory Initiatives: Stringent regulations and international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, oblige countries and industries to reduce their carbon emissions. Carbon offsetting provides a practical means for organizations to comply with these regulations by investing in projects that neutralize or mitigate their emissions.
  • Corporate Sustainability Goals: Many companies are adopting ambitious sustainability targets to align with growing environmental awareness and consumer demand for eco-friendly products and services. Carbon offsetting allows businesses to demonstrate their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint and contributing to a more sustainable future.
  • Emission Reduction Targets: Governments and organizations are setting specific emission reduction targets to combat climate change. Carbon offset projects offer a way to achieve these targets more efficiently, especially when direct emissions reduction is challenging or costly. For instance, on November 9, 2022, the U.S. launched a carbon offset program to help developing countries speed clean energy transition.

Carbon Offset Market Opportunities:

  • Innovative Project Development: Developing new and innovative carbon offset projects, such as those focused on capturing and utilizing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere (Direct Air Capture), presents a significant opportunity for technological advancement and emission reduction.
  • Urban Carbon Solutions: Urban areas contribute significantly to carbon emissions. Developing carbon offset projects tailored to urban environments, such as green infrastructure, rooftop gardens, and carbon-neutral buildings, can help cities meet emission reduction goals while enhancing quality of life.
  • Supply Chain Sustainability: Organizations are increasingly scrutinizing their supply chains for environmental impacts. Carbon offset opportunities exist in partnering with suppliers to collectively reduce emissions across the supply chain, offering a holistic approach to sustainability. For instance, Oklima, EDF Group's newest subsidiary, is a specialist carbon offset company developed by the EDF Pulse Incubation intrapreneurship programme. With Oklima, the EDF Group completes its solutions in response to its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhances its range of services to help decarbonization.
  • Eco-Tourism and Conservation: Carbon offset projects can be integrated with eco-tourism initiatives that educate visitors about climate change and conservation efforts. By aligning carbon offset activities with eco-tourism, local communities can benefit economically while protecting natural resources.

Carbon Offset Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 414.80 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 23.3% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 1,800.62 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Type: Compliance Market, Voluntary Market
  • By End-User Industry: Mining, Energy, Transportation, Residential and Commercial, Buildings, Agriculture, Forestry, Other 
Companies covered:

3Degrees Inc., NativeEnergy, ClimatePartner, Carbon Credit Capital, Terrapass, Renewable Choice Energy, Gold Standard, Offsetters, South Pole Group, Veridium, Cool Effect, ClimateCare, MyClimate, Forest Carbon, and Verified Carbon Standard

Growth Drivers:
  • Regulatory Initiatives
  • Corporate Sustainability Goals
  • Emission Reduction Targets
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Quality and Additionality
  • Verification and Transparency
  • Lack of Standardization

Carbon Offset Market Trends:

  • Corporate Emission Commitments: Increasing numbers of corporations are setting ambitious net-zero and carbon neutrality targets. This trend is driving higher demand for carbon offset projects to help bridge the gap between current emissions and the target goals.
  • Voluntary vs. Regulatory Markets: Both voluntary and regulatory carbon offset markets are expanding. While regulatory markets are driven by government policies and compliance obligations, voluntary markets are witnessing growth due to corporate sustainability initiatives and consumer demands for environmentally responsible products and services.
  • Technological Innovation: Technological advancements are enabling new and more efficient carbon offset solutions. Innovations in satellite imagery, remote sensing, blockchain, and data analytics enhance accuracy, transparency, and traceability in offset project development and verification.
  • Nature-Based Solutions: Nature-based solutions, such as afforestation, reforestation, and soil carbon sequestration, are gaining prominence. These projects not only mitigate carbon emissions but also offer co-benefits like biodiversity conservation, habitat restoration, and sustainable land management. For instance, NativeEnergy is a company specializing in accounting software, carbon offsets, and renewable energy credits, launched a new product called "Forest Carbon Offsets" in March 2023. These offsets are designed to offset the emissions of businesses and individuals by funding projects that protect and restore forests.

Carbon Offset Market Restraints:

  • Quality and Additionality: Ensuring the quality and additionality of carbon offset projects can be a challenge. Some projects might not result in real emissions reductions beyond business-as-usual scenarios, leading to concerns about the legitimacy of offset credits. Counterbalance: to tackle these problems, it is important to ensure that carbon credits are generated from projects that are additional, verifiable, permanent, and enforceable.
  • Verification and Transparency: The verification process for carbon offset projects can be complex and resource-intensive. Maintaining transparency and credibility in reporting, measuring, and verifying emissions reductions is crucial to avoid potential issues of double counting and inaccurate claims. Counterbalance: it is important to have strong governance structures in place to ensure transparency and verification in the carbon offset. The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) provides a robust framework for verifying and certifying carbon offset projects.
  • Lack of Standardization: The absence of standardized methodologies and criteria for calculating emissions reductions across different types of projects can lead to inconsistencies and difficulties in comparing and verifying offset credits. Counterbalance: One way to tackle this problem is by implementing quality standards that hold the carbon offsetting industry accountable. The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) has recently announced new guidelines for a “good” carbon credit program that aims to reassure buyers about the quality of offsets they are buying.

Recent Developments

Key Development

  • 3Degrees is the organization that helps organizations around the world achieve renewable energy and decarbonization goals. launched a new product called "Carbon Removal Credits" in February 2023. These credits are designed to offset the emissions of businesses and individuals by funding projects that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • CO2 Energie AG, South Pole provider of tools to achieve a low-carbon reality and Airfix launched the largest biomass carbon removal and storage project in Switzerland in September 2023. To overcome this challenge, the company CO2 Energie AG, the project developer Airfix, and the climate company South Pole – with the contribution of carbon capture pioneers Carbon Impact – have started a ground-breaking project for CO₂ capture and geological storage. The project is set to become the largest of its kind in Switzerland to date with 21,800 tonnes of CO₂ to be removed over five years.

Key Strategic Initiatives

  • BP p.l.c is an oil company with four main businesses: Exploration and Production; Gas, Power and Renewables; Refining and Marketing, and Chemicals, acquired a majority stake in Finite Carbon in December 2020. Finite Carbon is a leading developer of forest carbon offsets in the US. The acquisition will give bp access to Finite Carbon's expertise in forest carbon projects and its portfolio of projects.
  • ClimateCare is a profit for purpose environmental and social impact company known for its role providing carbon offset services and Natural Capital Partners merged in May 2021. The merger created a leading provider of carbon offset solutions for businesses and individuals. The combined company has a portfolio of over 100 million tonnes of carbon offsets and a team of over 100 experts.
  • Aera and Ecosphere+ extended partnership for additional carbon credits from Africa in July 2022. Aera Group SAS (“Aera”), the largest originator and trader of African carbon credits, announced the execution of a new transaction with Ecosphere+ Ltd (“Ecosphere+”), one of the largest worldwide nature-based solutions offsets providers.

Figure 2. Global Carbon Offset Market Share (%), by Type, 2022


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Top Companies in Carbon Offset Market

  • 3Degrees Inc.
  • NativeEnergy
  • ClimatePartner
  • Carbon Credit Capital
  • Terrapass
  • Renewable Choice Energy
  • Gold Standard
  • South Pole Group
  • Veridium
  • Cool Effect
  • ClimateCare
  • MyClimate
  • Forest Carbon
  • Verified Carbon Standard

Definition: Carbon offset is a practice aimed at mitigating the environmental impact of carbon emissions by investing in projects that reduce or capture an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, thus balancing out the carbon footprint of an individual, organization, or activity. These projects typically involve activities such as reforestation, renewable energy generation, methane capture, and energy efficiency initiatives, contributing to the overall goal of achieving a net-zero carbon balance.

Frequently Asked Questions

The key factors hampering the growth of the carbon offset market are Quality and additionality concerns, verification and transparency challenges, lack of standardization.

The major factors driving the market growth are Regulatory initiatives, corporate sustainability goals, emission reduction targets, voluntary carbon markets.

The leading component segment of market is Voluntary Market.

Major players include 3Degrees Inc., NativeEnergy, ClimatePartner, Carbon Credit Capital, Terrapass, and more.

North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific are leading regions in the market.

The CAGR of the market is projected to be 23.3% from 2023 to 2030.

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