Most purchasers of carbon credits do it to reduce climate impacts within their supply chain and to improve brand reputation, states a new report by The International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA).

The report, which focuses on the current demand, drivers and benefits of carbon offsetting, reveals that 43.5 million carbon credits were removed from the marketplace in 2016, highlighting the importance and growth of voluntary action in the international drive to limit global warming to below 2°C. In fact, 94% respondents felt that organisations should reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, even when not required to do so by law.

Now more than ever we need rapid and effective action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and offsetting programmes have a critical role to play,” says Jonathan Shopley, Managing Director of Natural Capital Partners and ICROA Executive Committee member. “Recommendations like those from the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) will help spur increasing action, and this research highlights what players in the voluntary market must do to meet the demand for immediate solutions.”

One of the key findings to stem from the research is a positive correlation between knowledge of the voluntary carbon market and confidence in its effectiveness to reduce emissions. This has led to the recommendation to improve corporate awareness, recognition and understanding of the role and value of offsetting and carbon finance as a solution to climate change mitigation.

The findings were taken from a survey devised and conducted by Imperial College London in consultation with UNFCCC and ICROA, with respondents from business (82%), government, NGOs and other sectors. The full report is available here.

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