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Voluntary Carbon Markets: An International Business Guide to What They Are and How They Work (Environmental Markets Insight Series) [Hardcover]

by Ricardo Bayon, Amanda Hawn, Katherine Hamilton, Al Gore
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 2007 0412624508 978-0412624506
** By the end of 2006 the world carbon market will top $30 billion in transactions and the first carbon billionaire may well have emerged

** HSBC, Volvo, Avis, Ricoh, and American Express are but a few of the thousands of companies now offsetting their CO2 emissions and becoming "carbon neutral", fuelling a massive international voluntary carbon market that is growing exponentially

** This is the only business guide to this "next big thing", with complete coverage of what voluntary carbon markets are, where they are, how they work and how to capitalize--as a buyer or a seller--on a market that has the potential to mirror oil and gas in scale and to slow climate change

This groundbreaking business book, written in a fast-paced journalistic style, draws together all of the key information on international voluntary carbon markets with commentary from leading practitioners and business people. While maturing quickly, the voluntary market is complex, fragmented, and multi-layered, but it is beginning to consolidate around a few guiding practices and business models from which conclusions can be drawn about market direction and opportunities.

The book covers all aspects of voluntary carbon markets in the US, Europe, Australia, Canada, and Asia: what they are, how they work and, most critically, their business potential to help slow climate change. It is the indispensable guide for anyone seeking to understand voluntary carbon markets and capitalize on the opportunities they present for economic and environmental benefit. If you want to be ahead of the curve for the next big thing, you need this book.

The Business Guide to Sustainability (2006) 1-84407320-3
The Natural Advantage of Nations (2006) 1-84407-340-8
Capitalism as if the World Matters (2005) 1-84407-192-8

Editorial Reviews


"'Describes a remarkable area of innovation in the fight to control global warming' Al Gore _ 'Will be eagerly read by those trying to build a business in this space' Ken Newcombe, Head of Origination, Climate Change Capital _ 'As an essential source of knowledge, information and ideas... [takes] a cold hard look at where the industry is likely to go' Mark Kenber, Policy Director at The Climate Group _ 'Required reading for those interested in how business and individuals might enter the carbon market' Richard Burrett, MD, Sustainable Development ABN-AMRO _ 'Opens the lid on the ideas and mechanisms behind the market and provides critical newly published information on a complex market' Hunter Lovins coauthor of Natural Capitalism"

About the Author

Amanda Hawn is Manager of Advisory Services at New Forests.

Ricardo Bayon is a co-founder of EKO Asset Management Partners.

Katherine Hamilton is the Associate Director of Ecosystem Marketplace.

Product Details

  • Series: Environmental Markets Insight Series
  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Earthscan Publications Ltd. (March 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0412624508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0412624506
  • ASIN: 184407417X
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,833,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre overview of voluntary markets December 20, 2007
This book comes across as perfunctory and haphazard in its presentation and in the issues it chooses to highlight (quality issues, regulatory concerns, overlap with other emissions markets). Most of the essays are from start-up firms and independent consultants, who all have their own agendas and opinions, which end up giving the book an air of corporate bias. Most essays are rarely longer than two or three pages and feature little to no historical perspective or comparisons to other, established environmental markets. The book itself has only 120 pages worth of raw material; the rest is filler consisting of company descriptions and pithy emissions-reduction project descriptions which one can find anywhere.

Indeed, most of the information in this book can be gleaned from an hour or two surfing the internet at major carbon and "green" sites, as well as company webpages that specialize in carbon emission reductions.

The essays contain a significant amount of overlap and repetition, and none of them are in-depth enough (qualitatively or quantitatively) to offer true insight; none of the articles have raw numbers or charts about pricing and reductions taking place. To make matters worse, much of the material is already out of date, owing to the fast-growing nature of the voluntary carbon market.

Mark Trexler's two essays (about interactions with the renewable energy credit market and about quality control of voluntary credits) are among the best in the book, but why read them here when they are available for free on the internet?

The slapdash nature of the book and the superficial analysis make this book non-critical.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Voluntary Carbon Markets August 5, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent primer on the evolving international and US carbon markets, and a vital read for those considering entry.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it is voluntary [for now] June 14, 2007
The most prominent thing about this book is of course the foreword by Al Gore. But whatever you might think of Gore's political views, the bulk of the text is a sober look at what it means to have a voluntary carbon market. As opposed to having government mandates.

Much of the book is uncertain. Not really about global warming per se. The book does not discuss significantly or really debate whether global warming is real. It is more or less taken as a given. Rather, the book's uncertainly revolves about what types of voluntary trading markets might arise. Voluntary because the US government has not made up its mind about federal requirements. Hence the biggest question is why should a US based company engage in such trading?

Candidly, and this will peeve some readers, it is mostly for public relations at this point in time. The book gives several reasons why it might be beneficial to trade. Like anticipating an eventual government edict about minimising pollution through such trades. So a far sighted multinational might venture a small gamble by engaging in some trades, and loudly touting its green credentials. The book does not come right out and say this. But a careful parsing suggests this view.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This book is dense and technical, yet worth the time of any reader with a serious interest in climate policy. Ricardo Bayon, Amanda Hawn and Katherine Hamilton do a good job of explaining how the carbon markets work and how they relate to other important markets, such as that for renewable energy certificates (RECs) in the U.S. They offer a sampling of expert opinions on the role and the future of these markets. The authors openly express their view that climate change is a reality and that the markets can help solve it. Yet, at the same time, they are dispassionate, reasonably objective and fair in their presentation of dissenting views. We recommend this book to corporate leaders who wish to become more socially responsible and to anyone interested in sustainable practices.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good starting point December 3, 2009
A good introduction to voluntary carbon markets in the US, available carbon brokers, and some of the strategies used by corporations to approach carbon neutrality through market-based means. This book is not a practical guide for carbon and emissions traders or project finance valuation personnel, but it does present basic market characteristics in a very easy and helpful manner. Please note the "markets" in the title - most of the solutions described in this book involve swapping reductions from a reducing entity to a company or individual who has not reduced themselves (i.e. this is not a book on how to reduce carbon footprint, satisfy George Monbiot's life goals, etc.)

Also included - decent introductions to the renewable energy markets, a comparison of legislative attempts at carbon reduction (e.g. RGGI, etc.), a listing of carbon brokers, and other current market information.
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