A study compiled by Ecosystem Marketplace, for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, has reported that volume in the voluntary carbon market surged 34% in 2010, as sustained corporate buying and a heightened interest in avoided deforestation projects offset the impact of policy setbacks in the US.
The report was launched at Carbon Expo in Barcelona last week, with findings showing that the value of the market had risen from $387 million to $424 million, with 131 million voluntary carbon credits being traded in 2010, up from 94 million in 2009.
Avoided deforestation projects accounted for 29 per cent, or 37 million of the tonnes traded last year, with 16 per cent or 21 million being in wind and 11 per cent or 14 million from landfill gas.
In terms of project locations, the US market share dropped sharply from 56 per cent of OTC volume in 2009 to 35 per cent. Meanwhile, corresponding increases were reported in Latin America, with market share rising from 16 to 28 per cent, in Asia from 12 to 17 percent and in Europe (mainly Turkey), with levels increasing from 6 to 9 per cent of OTC volume.
The heightened profile of Latin America within the Voluntary market was largely as a result of increased investor confidence in forestry projects that aim to Reduce Emissions from Degradation and Deforestation (REDD) following the publication of new methodologies by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).
Ecosystem Marketplace reported that 63 per cent of 2010 volume was, or will be registry issued, up from 50 per cent in 2009.
The study was optimistic that voluntary carbon trading will expand this year, as investor confidence grows following increased economic recovery.