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Nuveen Natural Capital - Carbon Market Integrity Principles

Carbon market integrity principles

Nuveen Natural Capital (NNC) believes that market-based approaches to combating climate change — carbon pricing, compliance markets, and high-integrity voluntary carbon markets — are critical to advancing the net zero transition and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C. While credit markets are in no way a substitute for the significant emission reductions needed across all sectors of the economy, NNC believes that they are a necessary and complementary solution to achieve climate targets at scale. This policy statement outlines NNC’s principled approach to addressing market integrity, credit quality, and meaningful climate mitigation through carbon markets.

We believe in the importance of carbon credit markets as a support for voluntary and government driven climate action, complementing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. Well-designed carbon markets can be a pathway to unlock financing for scaling natural climate solutions and the global restoration potential. Carbon markets and project activities also offer the possibility of generating social and environmental benefits beyond carbon alone.

Multi-stakeholder efforts are underway to improve the integrity, credibility and transparency of voluntary carbon markets and the underlying carbon projects. In recent years, significant progress has been made to define and standardize high-quality carbon credits and provide guidance for buyers of credits1. In alignment with these initiatives, to help ensure NNC carbon projects and the credits they generate serve as meaningful contributions to climate mitigation, here we outline our Carbon Market Integrity Principles to actively support, through the projects we develop, supply-side and demand-side market integrity.

Our principles guiding the development and execution of carbon projects generating credits

1. Carbon credits shall be:
2. Governance of carbon crediting programs (i.e., registries and their standards) shall have the following characteristics:
3. Social and environmental co-benefits

Our principles guiding the sale of credits

1. Carbon projects and credit sales contribute positively to the net zero transition
2. No sector shall be excluded from purchasing credits to support their voluntary climate commitments4
3. All potential credit buyers will be evaluated for reputational risk to Nuveen, our investors, and our stakeholders

Download the full article

1See for example, The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM),; the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI), https://vcmintegrity. org/; and the proposed EU certification framework for carbon removals,

2Verra Climate Community and Biodiversity Standards,

3See for example, VCMI Claims Code of Practice, SBTi Criteria and Recommendations for Near-Term Targets, https://

4Provided alignment with other Carbon Market Integrity Principles guiding the sale of credits.

This material is not intended to be a recommendation or investment advice, does not constitute a solicitation to buy, sell or hold a security or an investment strategy, and is not provided in a fiduciary capacity. The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on an investor’s objectives and circumstances and in consultation with his or her advisors.

The views and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date of production/writing and may change without notice at any time based on factors such as market conditions or legal and regulatory developments. All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed.

There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy, reliability or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information and it should not be relied on as such.

A word on risk

Responsible investing incorporates Environmental Social Governance (ESG) factors that may affect exposure to issuers, sectors, industries, limiting the type and number of investment opportunities available, which could result in excluding investments that perform well.

Nuveen provides investment advisory solutions through its investment specialists.

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