Entering 2024 with Wind in our Sails


Image: Grassland


January 23, 2024

I have become a firm believer in the power of carbon markets to drive increased climate ambition and action, and the voluntary carbon market is a vital tool to keep 1.5C in reach. Let's not waste any more time or let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry at COP28

ACR enters 2024 with strong momentum.

Yes, markets moved through rough waters last year, notably due to one-sided media stories. Yet, carbon markets ended 2023 on a strong note and the year ahead offers significant potential for growth and impact. In 2023, ACR issued more than 37 million carbon credits – representing 30% growth over 2022 issuances – and reported record credit retirements up 75% from 2022 volume. 

ACR’s positive impact depends on the good work of our partners: project developers and proponents, carbon market exchanges and trading platforms, validation and verification bodies, regulatory bodies, and credit buyers, in particular. We are all stronger and make more progress when we work together. Because it is so important to work as a community, I want to outline ACR’s three priorities for the year ahead. 

1. Invest in excellence. Our team of technical and policy experts is the core of ACR’s ability to deliver innovative and impactful climate solutions, while also offering excellent customer service to our partners. From expanded registry functionality and linkages with market platforms, to rock-solid methodologies, to acquiring, developing, and retaining carbon market leaders on our team, ACR’s first priority is to invest in our people and systems to maintain and enhance the quality and integrity of our offerings.

2. Demonstrate and scale best practices. When ACR was founded in 1996, we were the first private greenhouse gas registry in the world. In our nearly 30 years of operation, we have shown what integrity means in practice. From scientific peer-reviewed methodologies to oversight of independent third-party verification and well-accepted approaches for additionality, leakage and reversal risk mitigation, ACR has helped to shape market expectations. With new important market entrants at the table – notably the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market – ACR will continue to show what best practices look like in a world that is demanding urgency and integrity. And we will engage with stakeholders across the globe to harmonize innovations that can be implemented with rigor at scale today to help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

3. Catalyze a community. We believe in the power of carbon markets to make meaningful progress on climate action now. And we know many others do too. ACR is ramping up our investments in strategic outreach and communications to marshal the collective strength and influence of our community. To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, we need to dramatically increase market scale. This means we need to work together, aligned around a common set of objectives. Communications is a force multiplier to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

While COP28 failed to deliver a new agreement on implementation of Article 6, there is enough detail to move forward with implementation of Article 6.2, and participants in a wide array of announcements reinforced the critical role that markets have in meeting the Paris Agreement goals. Although many people expected credit retirements to decline in 2023, in fact they set a new record in December 2023 in a strong finish to the year. All of this sets up carbon markets for a strong 2024. At ACR we are incredibly excited about the year ahead and look forward to collaborating with all of you to help solve the one of the most consequential global challenges of our lifetimes.  


Mary Grady
Executive Director, ACR