Right up until the global economy ground to a halt in March, the voluntary carbon offset market was surging. In 2019, offset sellers saw a fivefold increase in purchases, after years of low demand in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Flight-shamed consumers were demanding them. The world’s top companies were buying them in record numbers. And a new crop of startups is using new methods to track the carbon reductions behind them.

Then came the coronavirus shock. The steep drop in fuel and electricity consumption has slowed consumer demand for carbon offsets in the short term. But there are still underlying trends that may herald the return of carbon offsets.

Is this time different? Can new players improve the quality and traceability of carbon reductions? And will they be able to build back trust?

  • In the first part of the podcast, we'll talk about why the first boom in carbon offsets ultimately went bust.
  • In the second part, we'll talk about why there's a resurgence of startups offering consumers personal carbon tracking, reduction tips and offsets.
  • In the third part, we'll look at whether this activity will amount to a meaningful change in the market.

The Interchange is brought to you by Prisma Energy Solutions. Prisma Energy Solutions provides a unique financing model for battery energy storage systems that can help you reduce energy demand, participate in both energy and ancillary service markets, improve renewables integration, increase system reliability, and reduce your carbon footprint. Get your system today.

We’re also brought to you by Wärtsilä Energy. Wärtsilä is leading the energy transition with The Atlas of 100% Renewable Energy, an open-access tool based on the modeling of 145 countries and regions worldwide to illustrate the cost-optimal 100% renewable energy systems.