CARBON FORWARD 2018: Will international carbon trade thrive under the Paris Agreement?

Published 18:46 on September 18, 2018  /  Last updated at 16:19 on September 26, 2018  /  Americas, Asia Pacific, Aviation/CORSIA, Climate Talks, Conversations, EMEA, International, Kyoto Mechanisms, Nature-based, Paris Article 6, Switzerland, Views, Voluntary Market  /  No Comments

The world's biggest carbon offset market is set to sunset in 2020, with governments at odds over how the UN CDM’s thousands of projects and billions of carbon credits should be subsequently treated under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

The world’s biggest carbon offset market is set to sunset in 2020, with governments at odds over how the UN CDM’s thousands of projects and billions of carbon credits should be subsequently treated under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Carbon Pulse is gathering carbon traders, analysts, regulators, and a host of other experts in London from Oct. 16-18 for the third annual Carbon Forward conference – an event geared to helping emitters and investors navigate the evolving European and global carbon markets.


This will include a session that gathers experts to give critical insights on how the CDM activities can be best placed to benefit under Paris, looking at the promise of unprecedented demand but multiple risks for investors looking to pick winners in the Paris era.

The event will hear from the Eduardo Ferreira, a senior financial specialist at the World Bank’s carbon markets and innovation team, who will discuss the bank’s work on designing instruments to facilitate Article 6. This includes the Transformative Carbon Asset Facility (TCAF) – the $200 million pilot programme under which six developed nations including the UK, Canada, and Switzerland are preparing the first Paris-era international carbon trades with scaled-up emission cuts across entire industry sectors rather than individual projects.

Also speaking is Mischa Classen, whose agency Klik has been tasked this year by Switzerland to lead its work on procuring international carbon credits to help meet the country’s Paris targets.

In addition, Thomson Reuters analyst Frank Melum will offer insights learned from the existing pipeline of CDM projects, Aki Kachi of the NewClimate Institute will showcase how the CDM pipeline will respond to new demand signals, and Kelsey Perlman of Carbon Market Watch will highlight the pitfalls of previous markets.


The path forward is far from certain, as governments are planning to agree only core elements of global guidance for international emissions trade at UN negotiations this year, stripping down Article 6 text to the bare essentials as work mounts up on the wider Paris Agreement rulebook.

The rules need to be agreed by consensus of the almost 200 UN nations, but countries still have very different views on Article 6. A small group of left-leaning Latin American countries is aligning with some campaigners in being opposed to allowing emissions trading under Paris because they see it as a way for richer nations to unfairly and inexpensively transfer the burden of emission cuts onto poorer ones.

Only a handful of relatively low-emitting richer nations including Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland are actively interested in outsourcing emission reductions to help meet their Paris pledges, leaving dozens of poorer nations without potential buyers for cuts they had hoped to finance through emissions trade.

Major CDM project host Brazil in particular is pushing for the CDM to be extended and airlines are expecting to use developing-world CDM and REDD credits as main sources for their CORSIA offsetting obligations.

Though the EU – the main buyer of the nearly 2 billion CERs issued to date – is wary about a full CDM transition without robust rules to avoid double-counting of emission reductions and taking into account that all parties have emission obligations under Paris, rather than just rich nations as under the predecessor Kyoto Protocol.

And the panellists will consider whether the secondary market price for CERs could ever recover from their recent lows below $0.25/tonne

***Learn how to survive and thrive in global carbon markets. Book your place at Carbon Forward ahead of Sep. 1 to secure an end-of-summer discount***


  • Speakers are confirmed from the European Commission, with at least seven carbon market analysts and leading participants from utilities, industrials, banks, exchanges, and trading houses also set to take part. Click here to see the latest speaker list.
  • The two-day conference (Oct. 17-18) is being held once more at London’s 5-star Canary Riverside Plaza Hotel, while the venue for the pre-conference Training Day (Oct. 16) is just down the street at the Citigroup Centre, 25 Canada Square.
  • Carbon Forward is fast becoming established as Europe’s premier event for companies affected by the growing carbon markets. There is still time to participate – BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW
  • Carbon Forward 2017 attracted more than 200 delegates & speakers, and this year’s event is slated to be even bigger. Participants, decision-makers, and top-flight speakers are drawn from industry, utilities, brokers/trading houses, government, and trade organisations.
  • For inquiries regarding sponsorship opportunities get in touch –

By Ben Garside –