The Carbon Credit Market: A Journey from the Paris Agreement to the Present

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The Paris Agreement of 2015 marked a pivotal moment in the global fight against climate change. This landmark agreement brought nations together with a unified commitment to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. In the wake of this agreement, a key new marketplace emerged to bolster climate change mitigation efforts: the carbon credit market.

This article will explore the development of this market, tracing its origins from the Paris Agreement to its current state.

Laying the Groundwork with the Paris Agreement (2015-2016)

The Paris Agreement’s adoption signaled an international consensus on the need for tangible action to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon credit market, previously seen in earlier initiatives like the Kyoto Protocol, was reaffirmed as an essential instrument for achieving emission reduction targets.

Transition and Innovation (2017-2019)

In the following years, the carbon credit market underwent a transition phase, with the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS) playing a fundamental role. Significant reforms were implemented to address the system’s shortcomings and ensure a stable and meaningful carbon price.

Simultaneously, new voluntary standards emerged, such as Gold Standard and the Verra Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), which contributed to promoting emission offset projects in sectors not covered by emission trading schemes.

The Rise of New Players and Markets (2020-2022)

Recent years have witnessed the global expansion of the carbon credit market. Nations like Canada and New Zealand have not only introduced but also fortified their emission trading schemes. In a significant development, China launched its national carbon emission trading system, establishing itself as the largest regulated carbon market in the world.

Parallel to these regulatory advancements, multinational corporations have stepped up, committing to carbon neutrality by predetermined dates. This corporate commitment has spurred a surge in demand for voluntary carbon credits.

Future Prospects (2023 and Beyond)

The trajectory of the carbon credit market is subject to a variety of influential factors. Anticipations of more stringent regulations and the potential expansion of carbon pricing to new sectors are poised to make a substantial positive impact. Additionally, the integration of cutting-edge technologies and a heightened emphasis on climate equity are pivotal in driving the market’s ongoing evolution.


The carbon credit market has emerged as a cornerstone in the global endeavor to combat climate change. From its foundational role following the Paris Agreement to its evolution into a dynamic and multifaceted global entity, the market’s role in providing economic incentives for emission reduction is indispensable for achieving our climate objectives. As global urgency towards climate action intensifies, the carbon credit market stands as a critical component in this vital collective effort.