Three banks join initiative for voluntary carbon market platform

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Drax power station is pictured during the sunset in Drax, North Yorkshire, Britain, November 27, 2020. REUTERS/Lee Smith/File Photo

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LONDON, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Three more banks have joined an initiative to develop a new platform for settling transactions of voluntary carbon credits, the group of financial institutions behind the project said on Tuesday.

Project Carbon was launched last year by financial institutions CIBC, Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank and NatWest Group to develop a new technology platform, called Carbonplace, to provide infrastructure to enable the reliable, secure, and scalable trading of voluntary carbon credits.

Now, UBS (UBSG.S), Standard Chartered (STAN.L), and BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) have also joined those banks as founding members of the project.

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"Carbonplace will reduce barriers to entry in the voluntary carbon market, and give project developers in the global south direct access to large numbers of customers looking to fund carbon reduction and removal projects," said Chris Leeds, head of carbon markets development at Standard Chartered.

The voluntary carbon market is seen as having a role to play in supporting companies to meet net zero greenhouse gas emission targets. It is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years.

Carbon credits, or offsets, are bought by companies who want to compensate for emissions which they cannot reduce or remove. The credits fund environmental and low-carbon projects.

However the credits are often traded on a project-by-project basis with different standards and approaches.

Project Carbon said that only carbon credits verified according to internationally-agreed standards will be processed on its platform.

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Reporting by Nina Chestney; editing by David Evans

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