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Can the carbon credit markets institutionalise and tokenise at the same time?

Where Finance Finds Its Future

06-11-2023 • 1 hr 5 mins

The voluntary carbon credit market has emerged rapidly as a market-friendly way of combating climate change. It has attracted blockchain-based entrepreneurs that see carbon credits as ripe for tokenisation, in large part because a novel idea developed by people outside the traditional financial services industry has yet to develop an infrastructure capable of hosting issuers, investors and traders safely. Greenwashing, double-counting, lack of transparent prices, an absence of trustworthy intermediaries and even outright fraud are prevalent. Existing efforts to overcome the lack of information and integrity in carbon offset projects have not met with success but both policymakers and institutional quality infrastructure providers are now getting involved, and hopes are rising that the carbon credit market will grow rapidly. But there are formidable obstacles to overcome.

What topics will be discussed?

  1. Carbon taxes are a mess (e.g., fossil fuels are subsidised as well as taxed, and at differential rates). Is that good or bad for the carbon credit market?
  2. What is preventing the carbon credit market from growing?
  3. Registries do not seem to have solved the integrity problem in carbon credit markets. What can (e.g., the ICVCM Core Carbon Principles (CCPs))?
  4. Which bodies – securities or futures or commodities regulators – should regulate the carbon credit markets?
  5. The Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM) advocated “core” carbon spot and futures contracts as “reference contracts” for other carbon credits. Has that idea progressed?
  6. Can and should carbon credit contracts be standardised?
  7. Can existing securities and commodities market infrastructures play a role – or is a completely new infrastructure required?
  8. How might carbon credit markets can be linked to ETS markets, potentially enhancing liquidity?
  9. Is tokenisation an appropriate technology for the carbon credit market?
  10. Does it make more sense to issue carbon credits natively on to a blockchain or to tokenise existing carbon credits?
  11. Is the lack of digital money a problem in the tokenised carbon credit markets as it is in the other token markets (and, if so, are Stablecoins an answer?)
  12. What might the carbon credits market of the near future actually look like?
  13. How durable are carbon credits as an asset class? To what extent are asset managers and asset owners deluding themselves that sustainable investing can also deliver high returns (echoing politicians that dress up costs as benefits)?

Who is on the panel?

James C. Row, Founder and Managing Partner at Entoro Capital, LLC, a middle-market, traditional and alternative investment bank based in Houston, Texas, and CEO of Capturiant.

Deanna Reitman, Partner Head of Carbon and Commodities at DLA Piper

Sean Mullins, Senior Vice President – Digital Assets and Financial Markets at Northern Trust

Gbemi Oluleye, Assistant Professor (Lecturer), at Imperial College London

Moderated by Dominic Hobson, Co-Founder at Future of Finance

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