Demand for carbon credits is booming as companies seek to offset their emissions in-line with commitments to net-zero targets.  

In response to demand for these credits ‘Project Carbon’ has established a voluntary carbon marketplace that is backed by local bank NAB, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Itaú Unibanco, and UK-based NatWest Group.

At the end of September the platform sent its first pilot trade. The aim is to offer consistent price discovery, as well as increased transparency as credits will be verified on a private ethereum blockchain to enable traceability of source and quality of offsets.

The trade was sent between Nature Conservancy of Canada and NatWest Group. The legally binding sale included credits issued by Verra, which is one of a range of certification models for GHG emission reduction projects.

The agreement will protect the Darkwoods Forest Carbon Project, a 54,792 hectare site previously ear-marked for logging. The project will manage the land for ecological conservation and locks in a 100-year agreement to protect the land and drive benefits for the climate, biodiversity and the local community. 

“Nature is our ally in the face of climate change challenges. The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s world-class Darkwoods Forest Carbon project taps the power and potential of private investment to meet our conservation and carbon reduction objectives. We are excited to be part of Project Carbon’s pilot trade, to join in driving advances in nature-based solutions through innovation.” said Catherine Grenier, President and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada.

The trade is a test for the platform, and its potential to provide reliable price data on the size and source of offsets being purchased. It aims to drive participation by a broader range of actors as it simplifies administrative hurdles and offers a new level of verification and transparency.

“Tackling climate change is everyone’s job,” said Mr McEwan, NAB CEO. “Project Carbon is a terrific example of how technologies such as blockchain can address existing barriers and make carbon offsets more accessible for our customers – as part of their broader plans to reduce overall emissions and achieve their own targets.”

The platform’s private ethereum blockchain will be supported by technology provider Consensys, and offer an unmatched level of clarity over ownership and source, to reduce the potential for double-counting. 

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