The Voluntary Carbon Market Explained

It is essential that governments and other public sector actors understand how the voluntary carbon market works and how they can engage with it. The purpose of this VCM Primer is to provide an overview of the VCM to the governments of countries that are or are likely to be hosting VCM projects. The Primer seeks to facilitate a better understanding and increased strategic engagement of governments. The target audiences of this Primer are government decision-makers in developing countries and advisors to decision-makers, as well as others who want to understand how to engage.

Each chapter of the Primer explains one aspect of the VCM. The chapters can be read as standalone factsheets or be read together as part of a larger summary of the VCM.

You can download the full primer text here or interact with and download the Primer online, including individual chapters at

The Voluntary Carbon Market Explained (VCM Primer) is supported by the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA).