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The Voluntary Carbon Market: An Important Arrow in the Quiver

Speaker: Vittoria Battocletti, Ph.D. Candidate, Bocconi University

Moderator: Stephen Minas, Professor of Law, Peking University School of Transnational Law

Date & Time: March 18, 2024 (Monday), 19:00-20:30 (Beijing Time)

Location (In-person presentation): STL 207-208

Language: English


Imagine that you are purchasing a flight ticket for what promises to be the trip of a lifetime. Despite the excitement, one thing bothers you: you know that flying causes significant emissions. Then a prompt pops up on your screen that appears to resolve your concerns. For only a few dollars, you can offset your emissions and enjoy a guilt-free trip. But can you trust this offer? Can you be sure that by paying just a few dollars, your emissions will actually be offset?

Carbon offsets, used to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions, are exchanged on the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM), a largely unregulated market where private actors buy carbon offsets to voluntarily mitigate the effects of their choices on the climate. For instance, firms might buy carbon offsets to claim that their products are carbon neutral. Driven by firms' desire to become—or at least appear to become—sustainable and green, the VCM is growing exponentially.

In this class, I will focus on the importance of the Voluntary Carbon Market in the battle against climate change, its functioning, shortcomings and possible solutions to address the main issues characterizing this market.

Speaker's short Bio:

Vittoria Battocletti is a Ph.D. Candidate in Business and Social Law at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Before pursuing an LL.M. from the European University Institute in Florence, Vittoria graduated with a joint degree in law from the University of Florence in Italy and the University of Cologne in Germany.

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