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Offset Markets Need to Know Their Carbon—and Their Customers

There’s invention and competition in carbon markets, but they will have a high degree of uncertainty until two sets of problems are solved. 

Finnish Forests as EU Announce Forestry Strategy In Green Plan
Photographer: Roni Rekomaa/Bloomberg

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Last year, global carbon markets exceeded 750 billion euros ($850 billion) in transactions. Almost all of that happened in so-called compliance markets, where laws require major emitters of greenhouse gases to buy permits or credits. Europe makes up the bulk of these markets, with 760 billion euros traded in 2021, while North America (including markets in the Northeastern and Western US, as well as Canada) amounted to almost 50 billion euros, and the UK’s own market, post-Brexit, was worth about half as much.