The voluntary carbon market got off to a strong start, with 15m tCO2e retired across ACR, CAR, GS, and VCS — the most credits retired in any January to date.
Verra and Gold Standard led the way, with 11.4m tCO2e and 3.0m tCO2e retired. On Verra, renewable energy and forestry projects have remained en vogue, accounting for 95% of credits retired on the registry. GS was led by retirements from renewable energy projects (55% of the total).
Projects on ACR retired over 270,000 tCO2e, up from last January’s 250,000 tCO2e. Projects on CAR, however, struggled to find takers for their credits, retiring 200,000 fewer credits than in January 2021. (It’s the lowest January for CAR project retirements since 2017.)
Across the registries, credits retired have ranged in vintage s— while vintage year 2018 was the most popular among credits retired last month, there continues to be activity among older vintages, which was not there in previous years. (See below for more on this.) The chart below shows the vintage breakdown of credits retired in Jan 2021 vs. Jan 2022:
The record January came despite fairly subdued activity in credits tokenized via the Toucan Bridge. 2.7m credits were retired and converted into BCTs, an uptick from December’s figure of 2.0m tCO2e, but still far below the October and November tallies of 9.8m tCO2e and 4.9m tCO2e, respectively.
The credits tokenized this month almost exclusively came from renewable energy projects, with the vast majority of those being vintages 2010, 2009, and 2008:
The near absence of forestry credits brought on-chain in January is likely due to the anticipated NCT pool, which is likely to fetch higher prices than the BCTs, Toucan’s Base token. BCTs have hovered just above $5 since the start of the year; nature-based MOSS tokens, which are more comparable to NCTs, have fetched around $10.
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