Carbon Credit Marketplace Guide for 2023 (Avoid This Mistake)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Carbon Offsets Credits | November 6, 2023

Man running holding CO2 sign and another Mco2 token running toward him outlining how the carbon credit marketplace works with carbon credit funds and stocks.

When a carbon credit is bought, the buyer gets a certificate or license from the carbon credit marketplace that enables them to release a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) or an equal amount of another greenhouse gas (GHG).3

The project’s main aim is to minimize industrial activity’s contribution to global warming by reducing releases of CO2 and other harmful greenhouse gasses, but before learning how to invest in carbon credits, there are some things you should know to avoid the main mistake.

Sine the carbon credit marketplace is so new, there are tons of mistakes to avoid when choosing whether or not to hire carbon credit brokers, whether to invest in a carbon credit ETF like KRBN stock, or whether to put your money into carbon capture technology stocks or carbon credit stocks.

This guide can help you avoid the most common mistakes that spring from a lack of information.

Carbon credits are market-based strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and knowing which green companies to invest in can be crucial. Since governments and other regulatory bodies are tasked with imposing caps on greenhouse gas emissions, policy has a big impact on the market.

However, a sharp decrease in emissions is not commercially possible for certain companies. As a result, they can get carbon credits to meet the emission limit.

Providing extra carbon credits to companies that achieve carbon offsets (reducing GHG releases) is normal practice.  The Kyoto Protocol approved the inclusion of such credits. The Paris Agreement acknowledges the use of carbon credits and further determines processes to facilitate carbon credit marketplaces.

Is Carbon Commodity a Thing?

For carbon to be noted as a commodity, it is supposed to exceed some threshold qualifications that there’s minimal differentiation between carbon sequestered by one firm and carbon sequestered by another. And for that to happen, buyers and market-operators must agree that the conservation practices implemented in a credit market program generate similar benefits in an affordable amount, irrespective of the type of firm and the size and scope of implementation.

For the sake of this debate, two concerns must be addressed before the carbon can be seen as a commodity. First, there’s the possibility of an oversupply. Because of the high number of companies producing assets, the cost per ton of credit will decrease if the number of buyers for asset credits remains constant. Companies may keep credits on hand until prices increase, but there’s no way to know how long credit will maintain its worth.

To mitigate the second risk, it is necessary to consider how much the businesses will be paid for creating the asset. If you’re dealing in a commodities market, you may expect to get the same price for your product from every business participating.

Types of Carbon Credits

There are two sorts of carbon credits:4 those mandated by the government and those that are voluntary.

Compliance Credits

An institution or a company using compliance credit is required by law to keep track of its greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, an obligatory carbon reduction system is in place to ensure compliance.

Voluntary Credits

Private companies mainly acquire voluntary carbon credits. Public relations (PR) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are two of the most prevalent incentives for purchasing emissions reduction certificates. Considerations like accreditation and reputation are also important. Customers may sometimes choose to have their carbon emissions offset by certain businesses.

Voluntary Vs Compliance Carbon Markets: What’s the Distinction Between Their Operations?

Regardless of whether they are voluntary or compliance, most carbon credit trading programs operate in the same way. On a regular basis, a government body or an international organization places a carbon releases limit on businesses. Companies that produce more carbon dioxide than their cap may sell the extra credits to other companies that have not yet achieved their quota.

In other words, corporations who pollute the environment with excessive amounts of CO2 must pay the penalty, but those that pollute less are compensated monetarily.

For this strategy, firms that can lower their emissions are required to do so.

Compliance Carbon Market Size

The market worth of worldwide compliance carbon credits transacted in 2021 was roughly 760 billion euros, equivalent to around 851 billion dollars. This is an increase of 164 percent over the value in 2020 due to higher carbon costs and a minor volume increase.

Global Carbon Credit Market Size

Both the providers’ and purchasers’ markets for carbon credits exist on a worldwide scale. China, India, and other rising economies (as defined by the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change)1 are regarded as worldwide providers of carbon credits.

State of the Voluntary Carbon Market Growth

Voluntary carbon markets are developing quickly, much like the early phases of the compliance carbon markets.6 According to studies, the recent decade saw a massive increase in new merchants, brokers, and other market operators.

With more businesses entering the carbon credits market, with internet merchants being the fastest expanding segment, voluntary carbon markets topped $1 billion in 2021. Hence, this indicates that companies and people are actively seeking ways to combat climate change without government regulation.

Close up photo of a man’s pair of hands typing on a keyboard while monitoring a candlestick graph on his computer monitor.

(Image: u_dmobkt686b7)

As one would assume, business purchasers, accounted for the bulk of the market. Still, contrary to predictions, the fear of future regulation did not seem to be the primary driving force for purchases in this market. Buyers said their primary reasons for participating in the market were a desire to demonstrate corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship by “walking the talk.”

Carbon Trading Companies: Time for Industry Involvement

The concept of carbon trading has moved beyond the realm of speculation. As it turns out, there are existing markets in place, and in 2002, they exchanged almost $10 million worth of carbon allowances. The carbon credit marketplace is driven by a global effort to minimize GHG emissions. And the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 is its most prominent emblem. Even though some countries have not signed the Kyoto Protocol, the GHGs reduction genie has long since left the bottle.

In the Global North, firms such as Newterra Ltd, QED Environmental Systems, Carbon Trade Exchange Ltd, and Green Pro Invest are leading the way in the trade of greenhouse emissions.

What Do Carbon Credit Trading Companies Do?

Investing in sustainable energy technology, planting trees, or purchasing and paying for the carbon released via emissions trading systems are some of the primary methods used by Carbon Credit Trading Companies to minimize future emissions.

According to where they operate, Carbon Credit Trading Companies have a broad range of specializations and costs. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world: promoting environmental sustainability is the primary goal.

Carbon Credit Market Size Opportunities

Opportunities for innovation and distinction in this field comprise access to well-rated projects,2 automated verification to eliminate intermediaries, and increased openness.

Provide Access to Unique Projects

Even though Kenya’s Reforestation is among the most well-known offsets, there are more efficient methods to reduce emissions than just planting trees. Indeed, one of the most exemplary initiatives is eradicating industrial gas, such as N2O, where firms collect pollutant gas from an industrial operation. N2O, a potent heat catcher, is nearly 300 times more efficient at raising the global temperature than CO2.

Gaseous pollutants from manufacturers are simpler to measure, and capturing or destroying their results in long-term emissions decreases.

Automate Verification

In the carbon offset authentication process, current techniques are either costly or impossible to level up; therefore, finding new ways to verify carbon offsets is a significant benefit for the industry. Carbon Credit Marketplace Company, Pachama, employs LIDAR technology to monitor forestry initiatives.

Increase Transparency

New carbon offset markets benefit greatly from educating customers and businesses about the effect of various projects, computing the quantity of carbon to offset, and determining the amount of money that really gets to the project.

Carbon Credit Trading Blockchain Application (Blockchain-Based Carbon Trading on Corporate)

It’s certain that blockchain technology has a special place within the carbon sector. And this is attributed to the fact that there are many similarities between the carbon trading market and the blockchain method. Decentralized databases are the core of the blockchain.

At the same time, carbon trading is primarily concerned with measuring, storing, selling, and managing carbon emissions. Unlike carbon trading, which is the deployment of data, blockchain is the presence of data.

The output or decreased carbon releases associated with the current condition of a firm’s output and utilization will be maintained in a database when blockchain is used on a corporate carbon transaction. After then, swapping or blocking may be done of your own will. No intermediary is involved in the carbon emission transaction, handled directly by the chain itself. Considering “blockchain + carbon trading,” here are some of the benefits.

Safe and Reliable

Regarding carbon release trading, blockchain expertise can collect and communicate data in an accurate and reliable way. We can prevent repetitive transactions by establishing a harmonious network that allows us to pinpoint the exact location of any issues with the transaction connection. Even if illicit trade or fraud happens, the market’s usual operations will be bolstered, and the carbon market’s integrity will be maintained.

Efficient and Convenient

The blockchain can select transactions on its own, including the ideal trade route and timetable based on prior trading experience, which may be updated continuously. Increased carbon emission quota usage and greater efficiency may be achieved with this method.

Open and Inclusive Carbon Credit Marketplace

Emissions from businesses may be treated as assets thanks to the capabilities of the blockchain. Within the carbon market, no matter how big or small a firm is, certified emission reductions (CERs) are commodities that may be exchanged. Carbon trading markets may be opened to small and medium-sized businesses using blockchain technology, which lowers barriers to entry and encourages participation in energy reform.

They may also benefit from the low-carbon economy’s wave of flexibility and sensitivity by taking advantage of new business possibilities.

Tokenization of Carbon Credits

CO2 emissions that have been averted or eliminated may be represented as tokenized carbon credits. To acquire one carbon credit, you must prevent or eradicate one metric ton of CO2 from the atmosphere.

And the credits are created as a result of linking voluntary carbon market registries with the blockchain, such as Moss carbon credit tokens.

How Is the Best Carbon Credit Cryptocurrency Tackling Climate Change?

Many carbon credit cryptocurrencies possess a retirement aggregator tool, enabling any person or institution to choose their desired credit, select the number of credits that addresses their particular offsetting requirements, and then retire them.

The process is all on-chain, noted on a blockchain’s ledger, and within a few seconds.

The Future of Carbon Marketplace: Major Problems

In 2016, the voluntary market neutralized 63.4 million metric tons of CO2 for $191.3 million. Ecosystem Marketplace reports that the voluntary offsets market expanded to $300 million in 2018 and transacted about 100 million metric tons of CO2.5 The worldwide carbon credit marketplace ranges from $40 billion to $120 billion. Assuming a 10 to 20 percent absorbency, a carbon credit marketplace with a 100 percent market share may only generate $30 million to $60 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) today. Still, the amount of carbon sold is expected to increase much more quickly.

A close up photo of a handwritten-sign saying that the climate is changing and the people should act now.

(Image: Markus Spiske8)

About 170 corporations have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, if not earlier, in response to consumer demand and internal pressure. With Shell’s vow to devote $300 million to carbon offset releases alone, it practically doubled the market size of this sector.

Microsoft has pledged to attain a carbon-negative status by the end of the decade and eliminate all of the carbon it has released since its founding by the middle of the century, taking things a notch higher. In addition to the 77 nations that have made similar commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 1.9 billion tons of CO2 would be saved if the whole transportation industry in the United States had mitigated its carbon releases.

Carbon Offset Problems

  1. Studies indicate that the success of present offsetting programs in mitigating carbon releases is wanting. A glance at the carbon offset projects within the last two decades across the world noted that carbon credits had not offset the quantity of pollution they were meant to, or they ushered in benefits that were swiftly overturned or couldn’t be precisely computed.
  2. Substantiating and auditing projects are hard to grow. Existing verification techniques are out-of-date and inefficient. Tree height and width are determined by strolling through the forest with a measuring tape and laser. The plot’s tree count must be done by hand as well. Other initiatives need expensive third-party collaborations for verifications and audits.
  3. Markets for carbon offsets are opaque. Due to a lack of clarity over which projects should be used, the amount of carbon to offset, and the amount of money allocated to the task, acquiring carbon offsets may be complicated for consumers and businesses. About thirty percent of the money allocated for carbon offsets is spent on the project because of the multiple intermediaries involved. Planning software, resellers, and third-party auditors often make up the rest.

California Carbon Offset Prices Hike, Marking New Era Cap and Trade

In 2017, California’s cap-and-trade program was extended, and the move was lauded as a significant climate victory. And half a decade after its inception, the initiative is becoming a political liability.

People concerned about environmental injustice claim that the initiative has failed to reduce pollution in areas of color. Carbon offsets have also come under fire from opponents who argue they don’t deliver on their promises of reducing emissions. In addition, President Biden passed on Mary Nichols, the person in charge of putting the plan into action, since she had previously worked as California’s top environmental regulator.

An image of an orange-like surrounding depicting air pollution produced by numerous factories and industries emitting smoke.

(Image: Pixabay9)

Carbon pricing in California’s cap-and-trade system has never been very costly, despite all the political fervor around them, until recently.

To put it another way: The program’s allowance costs have more than quadrupled since its launch in 2020. Auction prices have risen from $16.68 to $28.26 in the recent exchange.

Observers believe it symbolizes a new chapter for cap and trade in the United States, as it provides an assessment of the scheme’s carbon-cutting power and the state’s pledge to market-dependent climate measures.

At this juncture, the issue that needs to be addressed is whether California is willing to allow Carbon pricing to rise to a level that accurately represents the damage that certain aspects of the energy system inflict on the environment.

Carbon Credit Trading Platform

Both governmental and private markets are available for trading carbon credits. International credit transfers are permitted under current commercial regulations.

The market’s supply and demand dynamics have a major role in determining credit pricing. The costs of credits change due to variations in supply and demand across nations.

Granting carbon credits is good for the environment, but it’s difficult for the typical investor to start investing in them. Only CERs may be utilized to invest in the credits. On the other hand, CERs are offered for sale via specialized carbon funds set up by major fiscal institutions. As a result of carbon funds, even the most minor investors now have a foothold in the market.

Credit trading may be done on specialized exchanges, including the European Energy Exchange and the European Climate Exchange. These exchanges focus only on the trade of credits.

A close up partial photo of a computer screen showing candlestick graph on a black background.

(Image: Energepic10)

As the twenty-first century unfolds, one of humanity’s most pressing problems will be how to address global warming. Hence, regulators have been working on this problem and creating various ways to limit GHG emissions for quite some time. These techniques’ main goal is to reduce carbon emissions via green initiatives while generating a financial value known as “carbon financing.”

The notion of the carbon market is included in carbon financing. It is the notion underlying carbon markets to let the market determine how best to use resources by purchasing credits from a carbon credit marketplace or by decreasing emissions when carbon prices have been properly absorbed.

Information is not intended as actual financial advice but for entertainment purposes only. All investment strategies and investments involve risk of loss. Nothing contained in this website should be construed as investment advice.


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2Government Digital Service (GDS). (2022). Voluntary Carbon Markets in ASEAN: Challenges and Opportunities for Scaling Up. UK Government. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from <>

3Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2022). Carbon Offsets. MIT Climate Portal. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from <>

4The Pennsylvania State University. (2022). Carbon Markets, Voluntary Versus Mandatory. Footer Penn State Extension Logo. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from <>

5United States Government. (2022). Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from <>

6Aldy, J., & Armitage, S. (2022). The Welfare Implications of Carbon Price Certainty. Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Retrieved September 23, 2022, from <>

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10energepic. (2016, May 5). Close-up Photo of Monitor · Free Stock Photo. Pexels. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from <>