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London-based New Carbon Finance, a provider of information on the North American, European and Kyoto carbon markets, and Ecosystem Marketplace, an information portal for environmental markets, have completed the second edition of "State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets." The new report highlights the emergence of more than 20 independent standards for verifying and validating voluntary offsets. The report was compiled from 150 suppliers of carbon offsets, as well as registries and brokers.

This year's survey identified several key trends in the voluntary carbon markets.

- The average price paid to offset one ton of carbon dioxide or equivalent greenhouse gases rose 49% from 2006 to 2007. Prices ranged from $1.80 per ton to $300 per ton.

- Volume in the over-the-counter (OTC) market nearly tripled in 2007 to 42 million tons of carbon credits. Combined with the 23 million tons transacted on the Chicago Climate Exchange in 2007, a confirmed total volume of 65 million tons was transacted in the voluntary carbon market in 2007.

- In the OTC market, energy efficiency, renewable energy, methane destruction and forestry/land-based projects were the most dominant project types in 2007.

- Buyers of voluntary credits tend to purchase offsets that most closely resemble those of the compliance market rather than indulge in the sort of experimentation and innovation that many believe the markets offer.

"According to our estimates, the market value has even grown stronger than absolute volumes, as buyers are willing to pay more for their offsets," says Milo Sjardin, head of North American operations at New Carbon Finance. "Relative to 2006, the market value has grown by 240%, which is significantly higher than even the regulated markets."

The report is available at newcarbonfinance.com

SOURCE: New Carbon Finance

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