CME Group to launch nature-based global emission offset futures

Planting trees, agriculture projects or protecting forests all qualify

U.S. exchange operator CME Group will launch a nature-based global emissions offset futures contract on Aug. 1 to help bring more transparency to the growing global voluntary carbon offset market, it said June 21.

Nature-based offsets can be generated through schemes such as planting trees, agriculture projects or protecting forests that would otherwise be destroyed.

“More companies are relying on nature-based offsets as part of their overall climate strategies as the move to net-zero emissions continues to accelerate,” said Peter Keavey, global head of energy at CME Group.

Many global companies such as oil major Shell have pledged to reach net-zero emissions, and said they will seek to use some nature-based carbon offsets, to help compensate for emission reductions they are unable to cut from their operations.

Currently, carbon offsets mostly trade in a voluntary market, often on a project-by-project basis.

A private-sector task force on scaling up the voluntary carbon market said last year the market will need to grow 15-fold by 2030, with new trading products needed to enable organizations to meet goals set under the Paris climate agreement.

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