Today, three additional banks, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, and UBS announced they are joining Carbonplace. It’s a technology platform for carbon offsets underpinned by blockchain that was founded last year by NAB, CIBC, Itaú Unibanco and NatWest and initially called Project Carbon.
The group is looking for new members to join the project to launch by the end of 2022. Last year’s launch announcement sounded like the group planned their own marketplace. But it now emphasizes that it will provide “settlements infrastructure” and IT systems for marketplaces and exchanges. In other words, it aims to be an IT infrastructure provider and also create an ecosystem.
Carbonplace will primarily target carbon offset projects in the so-called global South – Latin America, Asia, Africa and Oceania.
Under the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, a target was set to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. An increasing number of corporates are buying voluntary carbon offsets to help meet the goals.
However, carbon offset marketplaces lack transparency, are susceptible to double counting, and involve various middlemen in the process, which take up almost 30% of the value paid on the marketplaces.
Projects such as Carbonplace aim to tackle these issues. For example, it will enable verification involving full traceability of transactions back to the source of the credit, to prevent double counting.
“When launched, Carbonplace will give greater transparency on the pricing and material climate impact of carbon credits, and supports corporates and investors to access quality projects as part of their multi-action carbon management strategies,” said Constance Chalchat, CIB Head of Company Engagement & Chief Sustainability Officer BNP Paribas Global Markets.
ConsenSys is developing the blockchain solution.
Other blockchain projects for carbon offsets include Climate Impact X (CIX), in which Standard Chartered is also involved alongside DBS Bank, Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Temasek. In 2020, blockchain startup Everledger launched a carbon offsetting platform for the diamond industry.