The CME Group's futures exchange currently offers three carbon emissions offset futures contracts: the GEO, the N-GEO, and the C-GEO.
Launched in March of 2021, the CME's initial voluntary carbon credit future, the Global Emissions Offset (GEO) contract, is a physically settled through the delivery of CORSIA-eligible voluntary carbon offset credits (see AEGIS research on this subject here) from three registries: the Verra Registry's Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the American Carbon Registry (ACR), and the Climate Action Reserve (CAR). Even though the source of potential voluntary carbon credit offsets with this futures contract spans across three registries, it is nevertheless the most limited of the CME's three contracts due to its delivery requirement that only draws from a pool of defined CORSIA-eligible credits.
The CME's second voluntary carbon credit future, the Nature-Based Global Emissions Offset (N-GEO) contract, is a physically settled contract that delivers Verified Carbon Unit (VCU) credits verified under the Verra registry’s Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) for high-quality, nature-based offsets sourced exclusively from Verra's Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) projects. As narrowly defined as it is, this delivery pool is nevertheless currently larger than the GEO's CORSIA-eligible delivery pool. Since its inception in August 2021, there has been more market demand for the N-GEO contract due to its high-quality features.
The CME's latest voluntary carbon credit future launched in March 2022, the Core Global Emissions Offset (C-GEO) contract, is a physically settled contract that delivers energy, renewables, and other technology-based offsets from the Verra registry. The C-GEO is the newest of the three contracts with the most generic, and largest, potential delivery pool, despite physical delivery being exclusively sourced from the Verra exchange.
Across all three of these futures, each contract is equal to 1,000 carbon credits, where each credit is equal to the removal or reduction of one metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions. As well, deliveries of all three of these futures will be facilitated through CBL Markets, a leader in spot environmental markets trading.
The combination of the spot CBL contract and CME futures contract has resulted in increased participation in both trading markets as many participants are active on both exchanges.
Prices on these three CME futures contracts since their respective inceptions are displayed as follows:
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