Average Prices for Jurisdictional REDD+ Credits to Reach $15 in 2028

June 25, 2024
Judit Langh, +1 (415) 290-5516, jlangh@edf.org
Sindhu Ram, +44 7596 192893, sindhu.ram@greenhouse.agency
Nick Boyle, +44 7875 687035, nick.boyle@greenhouse.agency

NEW YORK, June 26, 2024 - Analysis of a new pricing guide for tropical forests nations by experts at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) reveals how jurisdictional REDD+ carbon credit prices are set to increase significantly by 2028.  

Jurisdictional REDD+ (or JREDD+) refers to national or state-level, large scale programmes to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation. JREDD+ is a newer concept, but three tropical forest countries, Guyana, Costa Rica and Ghana have already signed JREDD+ deals in the voluntary carbon market (VCM), while Guyana has issued credits and received $150 million for its efforts to protect and restore forests. Several more jurisdictions are expected to sign similar agreements with buyers this year;  the Brazilian state of Acre recently signed a term sheet for 10 million credits with the LEAF coalition

The report, Navigating Jurisdictional REDD+: A Pricing Guide for Tropical Forest Nations, is powered by MSCI Carbon Markets data and is designed to help tropical forest governments secure more financing and more favourable JREDD+ contracts with buyers.  

Analyses by EDF and MSCI Carbon Markets show that up to 300 million metric tons of forest carbon credits from JREDD+ programs could come from jurisdictions in the ART-TREES pipeline by 2030 – six times the size of the REDD+ demand today. (REDD+ refers to smaller project-based activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation.) While questions remain on whether demand will scale to meet this growth in supply, EDF forecasts rising prices for JREDD+ credits, as buyers increasingly seek out higher quality credits.  

While REDD+ prices have fallen by over 70% in the last 12 months, “premium” REDD+ projects are trading at double the price of average projects, with a widening premium. A survey of 478 corporate buyers indicates a 20 - 40% willingness to pay a premium for JREDD+ credits over REDD+. 

As a result, EDF estimates that today, JREDD+ credits have an estimated value of $6 - $12 depending on the vintage of the credit and individual jurisdictional considerations. However, the LEAF Coalition has functionally set a floor price of $10, while Guyana’s 2022 deal with Hess Corporation is increasingly looking like an outlier.  

Looking forward, average JREDD+ prices are forecasted to grow from current levels to around $15 in 2028. 162 scenarios were modelled and tested with experts to determine this forecast. Nonetheless, the report also notes that “Given the limited trading volumes in the VCM at large – and specifically within the nascent JREDD+ market – forecasts, and even price estimates today, can be highly imprecise and one or two large policy changes could shift pricing dramatically.” 

Report author Dylan McCall-Landry, Director of Sustainable Finance at EDF, said: “There is no way to avoid the worst impacts of climate change without drastically reducing tropical deforestation by 2030. Carbon finance via jurisdictional scale programs can provide vital resources to reverse current economic incentives, so that forests are worth more alive than dead, while also benefiting local governments, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, as well as biodiversity. This report aims to enhance market transparency, empowering forest nations to better navigate carbon markets and secure vital financing to conserve these crucial ecosystems.  

FONAFIFO, the National Forest Financing Fund of Costa Rica, said: 

“Costa Rica is one of the first countries to submit an emissions reductions program under these new standards for higher environmental integrity. These new standards seek to provide ER credits that correspond with real and transparent emission, while respecting environmental and social safeguards. However, Costa Rica is concerned that voluntary markets are not responding as expected. The prices of high-integrity credits still do not reflect the country’s required effort to produce them. Likewise, it is noted that buyers depreciate the value of carbon credits due to their age (vintage). This climate finance provides vital funds to support sustainable developments, IPs and LCs, and protect the climate and biodiversity. In this sense, EDF is playing a fundamental role in increasing the transparency related to pricing and forecasts in this new market, which helps Costa Rica negotiate carbon contracts with buyers with greater confidence.” 

Guy Turner, Head of MSCI Carbon Markets, said: 

“Jurisdictional mechanisms have the potential to deliver large-scale forest protection. They will, however, require countries to be supported with comprehensive carbon data and relevant insights to successfully navigate the VCM. This research clearly demonstrates the potential of JREDD+ and I am proud of the role it can play in supporting governments in their engagement with the market.” 

Angel Sandoval, Undersecretary of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment and Ecological Transition of Ecuador, said: 

(English) "Jurisdictional REDD+ has a comprehensive approach to working with countries with tropical forests, such as Ecuador, as it contributes to improving the long-term protection of their forests and supporting local communities and indigenous peoples. The Environmental Defense Fund's price analysis will provide relevant inputs to understand the international perspective on carbon pricing, increase information transparency, and improve relationships between governments and indigenous peoples and local communities. Additionally, it will highlight the need for greater commitment from carbon investors/buyers to improve per-ton prices for the market to function effectively.” 

(Español) "Jurisdiccional REDD+ cuenta con un enfoque integral para trabajar con los países con bosques tropicales como Ecuador, dado que contribuye a mejorar la protección de sus bosques a largo plazo y apoyar a las comunidades locales y pueblos indígenas. El análisis de precios de Environmental Defense Fund contribuirá con insumos relevantes para entender la perspectiva internacional sobre precios de carbono, aumentar la transparencia de la información y mejorar las relaciones entre los gobiernos, y, pueblos indígenas y comunidades locales. Pero también, mostrará la necesidad de un mayor compromiso desde los inversores/compradores de carbono para mejorar los precios por tonelada para que el mercado funcione”

Beyond price, the report outlines several important developments within the wider VCM on demand, policy, and market governance. For example: 


  • Demand has somewhat plateaued over the past two years as the market has been in a state of “wait and see” as integrity concerns, combined with a lack of sufficiently strong regulatory mandates to compel corporate action, led to tepid demand. If demand does not rebound, increasing supply will put downward pressure on prices, limiting incentives for jurisdictions to conserve these crucial ecosystems and putting climate goals at risk.  
  • However, demand may now be returning. Retirements for all types of carbon credits in the last quarter of 2023 and first quarter of 2024, were on average, 40% higher than the rate of retirements over the course of 2022 and 2023.   
  • Q4 of 2024 saw a spike in REDD+ retirements, with 74% year-on-year growth in retirements. REDD+ retirements increased from 22% of total retirements in 2022 to 30% in 2023.  
  • The supply of VCM credits continued to outpace demand in 2023, with retirements running at about 50% of issuances. However, the growth in surplus is slowing, from 49M tonnes per quarter in 2022 to 40M metric tonnes in 2023.


A patchwork of financial regulation targeting the VCM and corporate claims in the world’s largest economies is emerging, but so far lacks sufficient clarity and “teeth”:  

  • The SEC issued Corporate Climate Disclosure rules March 2024: requiring thousands of the largest companies in the US to disclose climate-related risks that have a material impact on a business’s financial performance, and strategies, including use of carbon credits, to mitigate this risk.  
  • The EU Green Claims Directive, approved by the EU Parliament in January restricts the ability for companies to make product-level carbon neutral claims using carbon credits and therefore, may weaken the business case for their use. However, there is optimism that over time it will likely increase consumer confidence that companies are not using carbon credits for greenwashing, potentially helping to enhance corporate confidence and consumer trust in the VCM.  
  • California’s AB1305 passed, requiring disclosures from market participants (buyers and sellers) in relation to the use of carbon credits and associated claims.  

Several countries from the Global South have begun to update their policy environments to better address their climate commitments and access carbon finance:  

  • Taxes, national policy, and benefit sharing arrangements have been enacted or are under development in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Chile, and Colombia. 
  • National carbon taxes or cap and trade regimes are under development or are being introduced in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Nigeria, and Mexico.  

Consensus on Article 6.4 (a centralized system for monitoring international carbon trades) and additional legal clarity on Article 6.2 (bilateral trades) is unlikely for some time, with early 2026 seen as a best-case scenario.  

Market governance  

  • The ICVCM will roll out its “CCP (Core Carbon Principle) Approved” label this year, which is expected to carry a significant price premium. ART has already passed the first step in the process and there is cautious optimism that its ‘TREES’ JREDD+ methodology will secure CCP approval at some point between later this year. There is evidence that some buyers are waiting for CCP tagged credits before proceeding with new purchases. 
  • In July, the SBTi (Science Based Target Initiative) is expected to update its guidance on whether companies can use carbon credits to abate Scope 3 emissions. SBTi’s current position that credits may not be used to offset corporate emissions is frequently cited by corporate actors as one of the main barriers to near-term decarbonisation. The organisation is currently mired in internal dispute between the board and staff, but if the Board’s April statement is formalised, it would be momentous in clarifying the role of the VCM in corporate climate action and would provide the "end-to-end integrity framework" that ICVCM and VCMI (Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity) have called for. 
  • The VCMI launched its Carbon Integrity Standard in November 2023 guiding claims that corporates can make when using credits. VCMI Claims should have a positive impact on the carbon markets by giving corporates confidence in the claims they can make. However, uptake has been slow with a high bar for entry. Ongoing development of the Scope 3 Flexibility Claim may drive additional demand. 



Notes to Editors  

About the Environmental Defense Fund 

EDF has played a leading role in the development of the REDD+ and JREDD+ markets. Highlights include: 

  • Pioneered the Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) framework in partnership with ISA and IPAM 
  • Helped to launch the LEAF Coalition in 2021 and set up Emergent, the administer of LEAF, in 2019 
  • Contributed to the design of the ART-TREES standard 
  • Issued the NCS Crediting Handbook to advance the equitable and effective crediting for NCS   
  • A core partner in the creation of the Tropical Forest Credit Integrity (TFCI) guide, which has influenced corporate commitments in carbon market towards JREDD+  
  • Founding member of the Jurisdictional Technical Assistance Partnership (JTAP), an emerging initiative to support jurisdictions to participate in the highest integrity voluntary carbon markets  
  • Supported Indigenous partners to secure global commitments to the Cancun Safeguards, and to remove obstacles to market participation by advancing the REDD Early Movers program in Brazil  
  • Advanced biodiversity conservation at the state- and national-level in some of the world’s most biodiverse countries, including Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Brazil 

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