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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a distant threat or just a possibility, it is now a reality for all of us. In this pathway, Kevin Trenberth, a renowned climatologist, delves into the science behind climate change. He first introduces the climate system, its main components and forces.

Tackling the Plastic Crisis

Plastic pollution is by far the biggest threat to our oceans and this remains an incredibly tough problem to solve. Plastic credits could potentially serve as one of the much needed solutions for this crisis.

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The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

ESG, sustainability, impact… they all just mean green, right? Not quite. Despite being used often interchangeably, there are distinct differences between these terms.

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Featured Pathways

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The Science of Climate Change

Climate change is no longer a distant threat or just a possibility, it is now a reality for all of us. In this pathway, Kevin Trenberth, a renowned climatologist, delves into the science behind climate change. He first introduces the climate system, its main components and forces.

Tackling the Plastic Crisis

Plastic pollution is by far the biggest threat to our oceans and this remains an incredibly tough problem to solve. Plastic credits could potentially serve as one of the much needed solutions for this crisis.

More pathways

Ready to get started?

PLANS & MEMBERSHIP

Our Platform

Expert led content

+1,000 expert presented, on-demand video modules

Learning analytics

Keep track of learning progress with our comprehensive data

Interactive learning

Engage with our video hotspots and knowledge check-ins

Testing & certification

Gain CPD / CPE credits and professional certification

Managed learning

Build, scale and manage your organisation’s learning

Integrations

Connect Sustainability Unlocked to your current platform

Featured Content

More featured content

The Scale of the Net Zero Challenge

The price of meeting net zero is estimated to be between $100-150 trillion over the next 30 years. Regardless of this cost, we need to reach net zero before climate change does irreversible damage to the environment and the economy.

ESG, Sustainability and Impact Jargon Buster

ESG, sustainability, impact… they all just mean green, right? Not quite. Despite being used often interchangeably, there are distinct differences between these terms.

More featured content

Ready to get started?

Ready to get started?

Difference Between Compliance and Voluntary Carbon Markets

Difference Between Compliance and Voluntary Carbon Markets

Gordon Rowan

20 years: Origination and Credit Structuring

In the previous video, Gordon explained the need for carbon pricing and trading and then looked at a couple of potential solutions to prevent GHG volumes rising even further through the likes of carbon taxes and compliance carbon markets. In this video, he will explain in detail the voluntary carbon markets and their role.

In the previous video, Gordon explained the need for carbon pricing and trading and then looked at a couple of potential solutions to prevent GHG volumes rising even further through the likes of carbon taxes and compliance carbon markets. In this video, he will explain in detail the voluntary carbon markets and their role.

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Difference Between Compliance and Voluntary Carbon Markets

8 mins 48 secs

Overview

Voluntary carbon credits represent an efficient way to price carbon within market economies and try to aid the efficient reorganisation of our societies to limit or avoid climate change. As well as generating impressive returns, voluntary carbon credits offer the benefits of portfolio diversification and an attractive risk premium over traditional asset classes.

Key learning objectives:

  • What are voluntary carbon markets?

  • What are the essential criteria used in greenhouse gas offset programmes?

  • Understand the difference between compliance and voluntary carbon markets

  • Understand the benefits of voluntary carbon markets

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Summary

What are voluntary carbon markets?

Voluntary Carbon markets generate credits that are generated from tangible projects which remove, reduce, or avoid CO2 emissions compared to business-as-usual scenarios. Over time, technology-based solutions are expected to expand as their price per tonnes of CO2 declines.

What are the essential criteria used in greenhouse gas offset programmes?

  • Real: offsets must represent real emission reductions that have already occurred (ie, the reduction is not projected to occur in the future).
  • Additional: offsets must represent emission reductions that are in addition to what would have occurred otherwise.
  • Permanent: offsets must represent emission reductions that are non-reversible, or must typically be sequestered for a long number of years in the case of carbon biosequestration projects.
  • Verifiable: sufficient data quantity and quality must be available to ensure emission reductions can be verified by an independent auditor against an established protocol or methodology.
  • Quantifiable: emission reductions must be reliably measured or estimated, and capable of being quantified.
  • Enforceable: offset ownership is undisputed and enforcement mechanisms exist to ensure that all programme rules are followed and the market’s environmental integrity is maintained.

What is the difference between compliance and voluntary carbon markets?

Carbon trading has grown into a mature, investable market with sufficient number of instruments, liquidity and price discovery. There are 39 compliance markets across the world with the best known being the EU ETS, the US Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). Investment today into the various forms of voluntary carbon markets is not overseen by a single regulator nor government but has exceeded $1 billion dollars in traded value in 2021. This size is expected to grow 26x by 2050.

 

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Gordon Rowan

Gordon Rowan

Gordon Rowan is Director of Origination and Credit Structuring at Alpha Real Capital LLP where he sits in the Alternative Credit Strategies and Long Income teams. Previously he was Head of Structured and Sustainable Finance at Respira International, which trades and invests in voluntary carbon from natural capital projects, founder of Walbrook Capital Partners and a Director at Ambac Assurance UK. He has guest lectured at Bayes Business School and University College London, where he is an Honorary Research Associate at the Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction. Gordon was educated at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business.

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