28 July 2023

How wild can the Voluntary Carbon Market get?

Lily Ginsberg-Keig

Policy Manager

Dr Nick Atkinson

Chief Science Officer

11 min

Rewilding, the process of ecological restoration often defined as the reintroduction of formerly native species, has rapidly gained traction in conservation. It can be implemented in various ways but is characterised by uncertain outcomes: nature is allowed to be self-willed. Because of this, rewilding projects have struggled to access finance through the voluntary carbon market (VCM), which has otherwise been supportive of nature-based projects. This report explores some of the barriers that rewilding faces and the solutions that might help to overcome them.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rewilding can deliver multiple co-benefits in terms of restoration of biodiversity, ecosystem services and socioeconomic factors, but faces barriers to accessing finance through the voluntary carbon market (VCM).

  • The holistic nature of rewilding is appealing to investors and has the potential to enable the financing of large-scale conservation initiatives that deliver far more than carbon.

  • The future role of rewilding in the VCM will be decided by multiple factors, including market demand, technological advances and the development of policy frameworks.

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