150 million hectares of land to be protected over the next decade by global carbon markets


New research published by global carbon ratings agency BeZero Carbon has revealed that global carbon markets will create 17 million jobs and protect 150 million hectares of land – equivalent to the size of Peru.

In its new paper, ‘$100bn for planet and people’, BeZero Carbon set out the benefits that a global carbon market will deliver when in reaches $100bn in value, estimated to happen within the next decade.

The analysis found that the environmental impact of a $100bn market for carbon credits would see 1.2bn tonnes of CO2e avoided or removed from the atmosphere annually. A $100bn market would also provide funding to protect and restore 150 million hectares of land, which will be essential funding to protect some of the world’s most at-risk natural landscapes, and restore biodiversity.

BeZero’s research finds that a market of this size would also create or sustain at least 17 million jobs internationally, equivalent to the number of AI jobs projected to be created by 2030, illustrating the industry’s significant growth potential. BeZero estimates that 12.4 million of these roles will be employed in forestry sectors (REDD+ and reforestation), nearly 3m in agriculture and 310,000 in renewables, industries that already employ large numbers of people through carbon credit projects.

BloombergNEF estimates that the global carbon market will surpass $100bn for the first time in the mid-2030s, at which point total demand for credits will be around $2.5bn, and the average price around $40. However, should the Science Based Targets Initiative allow carbon credits to be used to offset scope 3 emissions from corporates, this would stimulate huge demand for credits, and the market value would be much sooner within reach.

BeZero’s report also makes nine recommendations for governments, corporations, and carbon projects to realise the market’s potential sooner, including for governments to accelerate the integration of voluntary carbon credits into compliance schemes, and for projects to seek independent ratings to add further integrity to their carbon claims.

Tommy Ricketts, CEO and co-Founder of BeZero Carbon said: “The narrative in carbon markets too often forgets why those working in the space are giving their careers to make it a long-term success. BeZero Carbon’s latest report shows how a $100bn project-based carbon market would deliver immense benefits for the planet and people. It means companies spending billions on new technologies and land restoration. It will support more jobs than the oil and gas sector worldwide—all whilst making a dent in our global footprint.”