Voluntary Carbon Market 2022 Overview

Take a look at how the voluntary carbon market has evolved over 2022 in our yearly overview. This deck includes trends, records, and insights from a complete overview of 2022 data, powered by the Climate Focus VCM Dashboard.

Highlights from 2022 include: 

  • Issuance of carbon credits dropped by 21% in 2022 to 279 Mt, compared to 2021, triggered by uncertainty about global economic outlook.
  • Renewable Energy overtook Nature-based solutions to become the leading category of credit issuances. Combined, these two categories represented two-thirds of issuances in 2022.
  • Although still larger in absolute terms, annual issuances from avoided emissions from nature-based projects decreased faster than those of removals from 2022 compared to 2021.
  • Retirements of carbon credits declined only slightly in 2022 against 2021, reaching 156 Mt. While forward buying may have slowed down somewhat, companies continued to use a similar number of offsets as last year.
  • Non-retired volumes increased steadily through 2022, reaching 683 Mt as overall annual issuance exceeded retirement levels by 123 Mt.
  • Despite an overall drop in issuance levels, some project types witnessed increased issuances in 2022. Issuances from energy efficiency, industrial gases and coal mine methane projects were up 30%, 267%, and 212% respectively.

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