A Share of Proceeds for Adaptation (SOPA) in the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM): A new OCP/ecbi Discussion Note

Social responsibility is one of the key motivators of voluntary corporate action. It is therefore valuable to harness carbon markets to promote multiple co-benefits in addition to mitigation, including adaptation co-benefits, particularly if they promote global equity by generating resources to support those who suffer most from adverse impacts of climate change while having contributed least to causing it - for example through a Share of Proceeds for Adaptation (SOPA).

The Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) thus has the unique opportunity to explore the value proposition that a SOPA can provide stakeholders. Given the political buy-in that SOPA can bring about, as observed during the CDM development, and the policy need to align with the provisions of the Paris Agreement, this OCP/ecbi Discussion Note recommends that ongoing efforts to improve the governance of the VCM should strive to:

  • encourage standard setters to promote a SOPA;
  • incorporate regulatory provisions for a SOPA into VCM as a key component of good governance and a high-level principle for the market, to ensure environmental and social non-carbon positive impacts; and
  • enhance coordination of supply and demand oversight efforts, to foster synergies towards effective SOPA implementation and delivery.
Publication Date: 
March, 2022
Benito Müller; Hanna-Marie Ahonen, Pedro Moura Costa, Daniel Ortega-Pacheco, Moekti (Kuki) Soejachmoen and Charlotte Streck