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Evolution of the New Zealand voluntary carbon market: An analysis of CarboNZero client disclosures Open Access


Author or creator
Birchall, S. Jeff
Murphy, Maya
Milne, Markus J.
Additional contributors
Carbon management
Climate change
Greenhouse gas emissions
New Zealand
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
Climate change has the potential to dramatically change the world as we know, both in terms of the environment and the way in which societies operate. Public policy responses to climate change continue to evolve, with many western economies proposing mechanisms for emission reductions, for example through a tax on carbon or emissions trading schemes. In the absence of finalised regulation, organisations choosing to offset their carbon emissions are engaging in the voluntary carbon market (VCM). Through an empirical description and analysis of organizations comprising the VCM field in New Zealand, this paper provides evidence of the evolution of the carbon market as well as the level of success of CarboNZero’s certification programmes (CarboNZeroCert and CEMARSCert) in reducing organizational emissions. Examination of disclosure documents of clients of CarboNZero indicate that the growth of VCM in New Zealand is slowing down. Further, CarboNZero’s programmes were found to be only modestly effective. This research thus finds that incorporation of carbon accounting is not necessarily evidence of organizational action or improvement on climate change abatement.
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© 2015 Birchall, S. Jeff, Murphy, Maya, & Milne, Markus J. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.

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Birchall, SJ, Murphy, M, & Milne, M. (2015). Evolution of the New Zealand voluntary carbon market: An analysis of CarboNZero client disclosures. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 35(3), 142-156.


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