Frequently Asked Questions


The voluntary carbon market poses many questions for organisations. Discover some of our most frequently asked questions below.

Carbon Credits & the Voluntary Carbon Market:

What is the voluntary carbon market?

It is a market to assist in combating climate change and building ambition accelerate a just transition to 1.5ºC. It provides an opportunity for carbon emitters such as companies but also organisations, NGOs and even governments to offset their unavoidable emissions by purchasing carbon credits from projects that remove or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

What are carbon offsets?

High quality carbon offsets are a viable climate solution, allowing businesses and organizations with hard-to-abate emissions to fund projects and programs that reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

What are carbon credits?

A carbon credit represents one metric tonne of greenhouse gas removed from the atmosphere.

What is the purpose of the voluntary carbon market?

The voluntary carbon market enables organisations and individuals to compensate for any emissions that they are unable to fully reduce due today because of costs; the unavailability of all the right technologies and the fact that decarbonizing supply chains that criss-cross the globe is a work in progress. The voluntary carbon market has tremendous potential for positive impact and unprecedented levels of new financial flows. 

Why is the voluntary carbon market important?

The voluntary carbon market is essential to climate action because it delivers rapid and scalable access to private sector capital for climate solutions anywhere in the world that are not being funded otherwise. It supports governments and non-state actors in delivering on their commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, and increasing their ambition into the future. It can scale up global financing of climate action, in particular in developing countries.

The Integrity Council

What is the Integrity Council?

It is the new governance body for the voluntary carbon market.

What is the aim of the Integrity Council?

The Integrity Council is supporting climate action by supporting bringing high levels of integrity, quality, and transparency to the voluntary carbon market.

How is the Integrity Council going to improve the voluntary carbon market?

We are establishing, hosting, and curating a set of Core Carbon Principles which delineate a threshold Standard determining what high quality and integrity carbon credits are and what Standards and methodology types may issue them

We will provide governance and oversight over standard setting organisations on adherences to the Core Carbon Principles as well on market structure and participant eligibility.

We will help to coordinate and manage the interlinkages between individual bodies and define a Road Map for the responsible growth of the Voluntary Carbon Market.

Who gives the Integrity Council the authority to govern the market?

The Integrity Council is working closely with regulators across the world to protect against fraud and manipulation in the secondary voluntary carbon market. This depends on strong oversight of the primary voluntary carbon market, which is the responsibility of the Integrity Council.