A large and increasing number of companies have voluntarily committed to science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions pursuant to the Paris Agreement. While abating current carbon emissions is the highest priority, many companies have also incorporated carbon offsets into their strategy, particularly for near-term, hard-to-abate emissions. As a result, Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCMs) have grown rapidly, and that growth is expected to continue.
However, VCMs present myriad problems from both a practical and theoretical standpoint; it is unclear whether these problems will be solved such that VCMs will function “healthily” on the timeline required by rapid global warming. Nevertheless, VCMs may be one of our best tools for mobilizing capital toward climate change solutions, and can be a valid part of a broader sustainability strategy for corporate actors under certain conditions. This event will cover the following relevant topics for companies participating in VCMs:
· VCM history, context, and relative scale & importance in the overall effort to mitigate climate change.
· The theoretical limitations of the markets themselves, both as healthy, efficient markets and also in terms of their actual climate impact.
· Whether and how VCMs can contribute to an organization’s overall sustainability strategy.
· If a company chooses to participate, what business and legal considerations are important (e.g., strategy, diligence), and how VCMs can be used responsibly.
· Corporate governance: Where & how VCM participation should be owned within an organization, and how it should be reported without.
9:00 - 9:30AM: Welcome & Overview; History & Context of Voluntary Carbon Markets
A brief welcome and overview of the agenda & purposes and a concise overview of the history and context of Voluntary Carbon Markets.9:30 - 9:55AM: VCMs: Current Theoretical Frontiers
Alicia Seiger & Marc Roston of the Stanford Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance will share their research and latest thinking, including the “Diligence, Reform, Reset” framework and an upcoming white paper.9:55 - 10:00AM: Break 10:00 - 11:00AM: VCM Participation: Business & Legal Considerations for Purchasers
For buyers of carbon credits, this discussion will cover relevant legal and business issues, including maximizing value, diligencing quality, and minimizing risk, as well as emergent legal & business issues.11:00AM - 12:00PM: VCM Corporate Governance & Strategy
The final segment will cover best practices in corporate governance, including the incentives guiding VCM participation (& overall sustainability strategy) within an organization, and effective communication & reporting.12:00 PM: Conclude