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More major banks join blockchain-based offset marketplace

Published March 2, 2022

More major banks join blockchain-based offset marketplace

Three more banks have joined a bank-backed initiative to create a blockchain-based marketplace where firms can buy and sell carbon offsets.

The initiative, formerly known as Project Carbon, has been renamed Carbonplace.  UBS, Standard Chartered, and BNP Paribas have joined the original members NatWest, Canadian bank CIBC, Brazilian bank ITAU and Australian bank NAB.

The project is aligned with the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, to help remove current barriers to voluntary carbon offset purchasing for the partner banks’ customers.

The main barrier at present is the fact that there is no consistent global value for carbon offsets. When Carbonplace is fully operational at the end of 2022, corporate customers of the banks involved will be able to use the platform to buy and sell carbon offsets with clear pricing and standards.

The platform was initially launched as a pilot. The platform provides infrastructure for settlements and marketplace systems and exchanges. Additional functions will be added to the site. Customers will access the marketplace via the Carbonplace website, where they will be able to view the price history of available carbon credits as well as all documentation relating to their quality and integrity. All customer transactions will be recorded on the blockchain ledger which will record ownership and provide reporting for post-transaction settlement.

Seyed Ebrahimi, Alfa Energy’s principal consultant, sustainability strategy, commented: “Companies are not going to be able to manage by just increasing energy or process efficiency or decarbonising their upstream procurement. Offsetting is becoming more widespread whether we like it or not and any standardisation is to be welcomed. Carbon credits need to be based on a more stable financial footing, so this could become the gold standard for verifying carbon credits, particularly as more global banks join up and normalise this through peer pressure.”