2023 Workshop – Business of Carbon Offsets

The inaugural workshop will focus exclusively on the market for voluntary carbon offsets. We are bringing in speakers from all parts of the value chain, including buyers, project developers, carbon registries, and NGOs. To facilitate candid conversations, we will keep the workshop in an in-person, private, invitation-only format, without any recording or online attendance. Our primary goal is to identify innovative solutions from the perspectives of all market participants so that the market can be more efficient in the fight against climate change. 


Breakfast and Coffee  

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Fisher Colloquium Bridge

Session 1: Buyers 

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

In the first session of the day, we will hear the perspectives of buyers of voluntary carbon offsets. What are their primary considerations for choosing which offsets to purchase? How do they trade-off between the price, the project type/location, vintage, and availability? Do additional project attributes, such as contribution to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, affect purchase decisions? By discussing these questions in detail, we will establish a unified understanding of the demand side of the market for voluntary carbon offsets. 

Session 2: Project Development

10:15 – 11:15 a.m.

In this session, we will focus on the perspective of project developers who design, implement, and operate emissions-reduction projects. What are the most recent challenges and opportunities in different projects, such as clean cookstoves, forestry and land use, and renewable energy? What market considerations are the most important in determining which projects to invest in? Our primary goal is understanding the market’s supply side for voluntary carbon offsets.

Lunch Break   

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Session 3: Carbon Registries 

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Carbon registries play a significant role in the two-sided marketplace for voluntary carbon offsets by tracking projects and establishing standards. In this session, we will hear from executives in carbon registries to learn more about their perspectives. How do they determine eligibility for new project types? What are the most recent approaches to maintaining market integrity by addressing additionality, permanence, and leakage? What are the most recent trends that they observe in project development, credit issuance, and retirements?

Session 4: NGOs, Government, and Rating Agencies

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Several non-governmental organizations issued best practices and recommendations for the market for voluntary carbon offsets to function properly. In this session, we will first hear their perspectives to identify best practices for purchasing voluntary carbon offsets. With the increased importance of using voluntary carbon offsets for compliance purposes, we also  will discuss what the government can bring to the table regarding regulatory frameworks. Finally, we will discuss the emerging trend of rating agencies that assess the quality of carbon offsets.

Breakout Sessions: Identify Needs and Open Questions

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Participants from various parts of the industry will be assigned into groups for a breakout session. Each group will focus on several issues in the market for voluntary carbon offsets to identify needs and open questions. The groups are encouraged to discuss their current challenges candidly. Georgetown faculty will be available to engage with the group.

Concluding Discussion and Takeaways 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.