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Demand for voluntary carbon credits is driven by motivations other than regulatory compliance. This means its signals for supply and demand are to an extent independent of international and national policy signals and in recent years there has only been a slight variation in voluntary offset demand.
The vast majority of voluntary carbon projects use third-party standards and auditors to validate and verify emission reductions. Project registries then issue each tonne of emissions reduction a unique serial number that can then be transacted multiple times before an owner “retires” it on a registry, where it can no longer be sold.