The Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) is dominated by a small number of “brokerage” – type entities acting as “intermediaries” / “middlemen”. Unlike every single functioning global market for Equities, Commodities, Currencies and Real Estate, most of the VCM continues to keep asset prices (i.e. for carbon credits such as CERs and VER prices) secret. This has resulted in a lamentable conflict of interest.
Rather than matching projects with buyers (as a normal broker would), taking a transparent commission and seeking best prices for their “project-clients”, these “brokerage” – type entities instead buy from their clients at secret prices and sell to their buyers at much higher and also secret prices (sometimes taking margins in excess of 100% and further diverting funds from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – with buyers being unaware of such enormous diversion of funds).
This is further compounded in the case of the Gold Standard (GS) through the conflict of interest implicit in the close and inter-invested relationship that the GS maintains with some of these “brokerage”-type entities.
The VCM should be 100% transparent (and verifiably so) in respect of credit pricing (at every stage in the transfer chain). It vital to attracting VCM purchasers, that such purchasers have certainty that their funding is not being diverted to intermediaries.