11.05.2021
By Shanny Basar

Exchanges to Launch Carbon Initiatives

ICE is introducing its first nature-based solutions carbon credit futures contract while London Stock Exchange is developing a market to boost investment in carbon mitigation projects.

The US exchange said in a statement that it plans to launch a nature-based solutions carbon credit futures contract in the first quarter of 2022 subject to regulatory approvals.

The contract will be traded and cleared by ICE in London and physically deliver credits certified under Verra’s Verified Carbon Standard and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards Programs.

Gordon Bennett, managing director of utility markets at ICE, said in a statement: “Environmental markets can help fund the cultivation and preservation of natural capital, and the new nature-based solutions futures contract will allow the market to value natural assets in the agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors.”

In addition ICE Benchmark Administration is forming the ICE Carbon Oversight Committee to to advise on the criteria that carbon credits must meet to be deliverable in ICE hosted futures contracts.

London Stock Exchange

The London Stock Exchange has also announced plans to enhance investment in carbon mitigation projects by publicly listing carbon funds. This should overcome the barriers of the lack of access to capital at scale for the development of new climate projects worldwide and primary market access to a long-term supply of high-quality carbon credits for corporates and investors.

The exchange expects to use its existing market infrastructure, supplemented by specific requirements relevant to carbon credit projects, to list funds that invest in projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remove carbon from our atmosphere.

Julia Hoggett, LSE

LSE said: “Our intention is to facilitate the public listing of carbon funds through a disciplined, transparent market with a clear price signal and confidence that investors can directly support the development of high-quality climate change mitigation projects worldwide.”

Corporates and other organisations with long-term needs for carbon credits are expected to become investors and use carbon credits to offset their emissions.

Julia Hoggett, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, said in a statement: “By creating solutions to direct capital flows into projects that address the climate crisis, the London Stock Exchange can play its part in supporting a just transition to a low carbon economy.”

Carbonomics

Carbon pricing is a key instrument for de-carbonization and better capital market instruments are needed to  gauge temperature alignment of corporate strategies and accelerate clean-tech investments according to a report from Goldman Sachs in September.

The bank believes that carbon offsets are a crucial driver of carbon removal through nature based solutions and direct air carbon capture, contributing around 15% to the de-carbonization of harder-to-abate sector emissions by 2050.

We believe that discussions surrounding tighter standards, stronger supervision and better liquidity of global voluntary carbon credits could materially contribute to a cost-efficient path to Net Zero Carbon,” said the report.

Goldman estimated that an aggregate investment in clean tech infrastructure of $56 trillion is needed by by 2050 to meet the target of less than 1.5° target of global warming, which represents about 2.3% of global GDP at peak.

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