The market for Certified Emission Reductions (CER) has emerged. There are very many Carbon Investors who are trading in existing CERs and also investing in "Forward Purchase" of future CERs that will be generated through the implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects.
Some among them are socially conscious individuals who have contributed to the decade long struggle for countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol and accept emission reduction quotas. These Investors have a strong inclination towards rural populations in non-Annex I (developing) countries. They are willing to take the extra effort and risk to enable as much of their capital as possible to go to such CDM projects.
These special Carbon Investors can now play a vital role of "putting their money where their mouth is" and giving all of us a credibility that is urgently needed. After all, we have talked about pro-poor and rural development endeavours in our Climate Change circles for a very long time. It is high time that monetary benefits of emission reduction efforts directly reach the poor.
The second type of carbon investors are environmentally conscious individuals, groups, organizations, philanthropists and foundations who are willing to "Forward Fund" risky CDM project activities (e.g. Afforestation/Reforestation Projects) which have a long gestation period and where the carbon markets are as yet unclear as to how to value and trade in A/R CERs.
VER Funders & U.S. Partners
In this category are also those who are willing to settle for Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs) which are not registered with the Executive Board of the UNFCCC and therefore have lesser commercial value than CDM projects in the carbon markets.
Notable among them are private-public partnerships in the U.S. who have voluntarily contributed to huge emission reductions, in spite of not being legally obliged to do so under any international protocol. An indicator of this voluntary commitment is the State of Oregon which has, on its own, passed exemplary laws that need be emulated by others.
Non Compliance Buyers
Due to sudden rise in public consciousness, admirably demonstrated by a brave and selfless showing by civil society at CoP15 in Copenhagen, a whole lot of individuals, companies and corporate bodes who are not obliged by law to reduce emissions, are voluntarily cutting their emissions. Carbon Audits of their operations have become common place. Even individuals have started to audit Greenhouse Gas emissions caused by very personal events like air travel, weddings barbecue parties, etc. and compensate for these. All of them are clubbed by the market under the term "Non Compliance Buyers".
Reaching out to Non Compliance Buyer with genuine Emission Reductions poses a challenge that bodies like our Network can easily take up.