Voluntary Carbon Market Value Slashed in Half by 2009 Recession

smokestack pollution photo

photo: Eric Schmuttenmaer via flickr

We know that the Great Recession of 2008 & 2009 helped many nations slash their carbon emissions and lower deforestation rates--decidedly good things--but it also slashed in half the value of the voluntary carbon market, a new report by Ecosystem Marketplace shows.Compared to 2008, the voluntary carbon market value shrank by 47% to $387 million. During the same period transactions equal to 94 million tons of CO2 fell by 26%. Average price for a ton of CO2-equivalent for the time period was $6.50.

The most popular type of voluntary carbon offset projects last year were those which captured methane (41%), followed by forestry projects (24%) and renewable energy projects (17%).

GreenBiz quotes Milo Sjardin of Bloomberg New Energy Finance:

The economic recession had a marked impact on the part of the market primarily concerned with buying credits to offset emissions of companies and individuals. In contrast, expectations of a possible US carbon trading program lifted the importance of the US, which figured as the largest buyer and seller in the market and the most popular transactions were those that could count towards future compliance.  However, with the current state of play of US politics this situation is likely to be very different this year.

Like this? Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

More on Carbon Offsets:
Confused Which Carbon Offset Service to Use? EDF Lists Eleven They Trust
Carbon Offset Watch Ranks the Voluntary Carbon Market
Peruvian Farmers Happy to Offset West's Carbon
Carbon Neutral Myth? Protesters Take On Offset Companies

Related Content on Treehugger.com