Global carbon offset demand to rise as climate policy expands

Photo by James Donaldson

Fitch Ratings said recently that carbon offset demand worldwide will rise as climate policy expands to cover not just utilities but also heavy industry.

“We are likely to see an expansion of offsets both in volume and price, even in the absence of a global carbon market,” said the ratings agency in a statement.

Fitch said policy measures in the European Union have driven the recovery in cost of emissions trading allowances, or the limited authorization to emit a specific quantity of a pollutant. 

The rating agency added that if the policy commitment continues, the increase in carbon prices is likely to affect more energy-intensive industries.

Carbon offset demand will likely follow this.

“Voluntary markets are already on an upward trajectory with growing demand from corporates to support net zero emissions targets,” said Fitch.

Currently, carbon tax systems and emissions trading mostly do not include emissions from the built environment, transportation and agriculture. But these industries are now rapidly growing sources of emissions, so carbon offset is likely to play a growing role among them, said Fitch.