Generally speaking, the market can be described as consisting of three distinct phases:
- Early Market Formation & Innovation -- characterized by pioneering new approaches for fighting climate change.
- Consolidation and Strengthening -- characterized by the ongoing evolution of infrastructure and best practice to ensure quality and credibility.
- Mainstream -- reflecting the current position, where carbon offsetting has become an established and powerful tool to help fight climate change.
The below graphic and accompanying milestones illustrate this evolution.
Please click to view this interactive graphic.
Then, click on any of the milestones in the graphic to learn more.
The milestones in this graphic are not meant to represent a complete and comprehensive history of the voluntary carbon market; instead, these milestones constitute significant actions at the regulatory, market, and standards level that are indicative of the advances the market has undergone at various stages.
The timeline “Evolution of Voluntary Carbon Market” was developed by a working group of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA). We thank VNV Advisory for their excellent technical and design support in the execution of this work.