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Task force faces huge task to legitimise VCM

Private sector faces tough goal of bringing together stakeholders to give structure to the voluntary carbon market

Efforts to give structure to the global voluntary carbon market (VCM) have stepped up in the last fortnight as hundreds of experts have begun work to develop market governance, quality assurance and legal underpinning for the $1.5bn/yr trade. Offsets represent emissions reduced or avoided compared with a preset baseline and have been used for more than 20 years to neutralise emissions made elsewhere. For more than a decade, the VCM trade has been self-regulated by its private sector participants, rather than any single entity or government. As a result, transactions are mostly bilateral, while clients carry out lengthy due diligence on proposed offsets to ensure they meet relevant criteria.

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