The promise of future demand from the aviation industry and new types of financing are fuelling optimism in the voluntary carbon market, the top firms in Environmental Finance's 2017 Voluntary Carbon Markets Rankings say.
More than 1,000 responses were received as part of the 8th annual rankings, which polled the market as to who are the most highly regarded players across 16 categories. The survey found market sentiment to be generally positive, with winners agreeing the future for carbon offsets is bright.
This is despite the findings of the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2017 report by Ecosystem Marketplace, which said the amount spent fell in 2016 to $191.3 million, which offset 63.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), compared with $278 million to recover 84 MtCO2e in 2015.
Edward Hanrahan, director at Climate Care, which claimed the title of Best Project Developer in Public Health, said that, overall, there has been more investment into projects but the financing is taking a different form, and the carbon credit instrument on its own is being utilised less, which may help explain the 31% decrease in the amount spent on offsets, he said.
Project developer South Pole Group, the winner of five of this year's awards, regained the title of Best Project Developer Overall from EcoAct. Until it was beaten into second place by its French rival in 2016, South Pole had won the category for five successive years.
South Pole was also voted Best Project Developer in Forestry and Land-Use, Best Project Developer in Renewable Energy, Best Trading Company, and was joint winner of the Best Offset Retailer category, alongside Natural Capital Partners.
This article has been edited for length. The original article by Environmental Finance can be found here.