Why NASDAQ acquired a carbon removal marketplace

Why NASDAQ acquired a carbon removal marketplace

With net zero emissions targets now the topic du jour across the corporate landscape, there is suddenly a ticking time bomb for these same corporates to neutralize their emissions at the specified 2030-2040 time frames. Most firms now realize that they won’t be able to fully eliminate hydrocarbons from their supply chain or materials. So, the next step for these corporates is to think about what other investments they can make to counter their carbon footprint. Enter the (usually voluntary) carbon removal marketplaces or renewable offset marketplaces.

There are a number of marketplaces that serve this need, but an issue for mass-market adoption has been:

a) Credibility of the project providers and the scale of offsets (over-promising or dubious metrics)

b) Technical exclusivity of the offsets (many projects are sold multiple times)

The above issues have caused for “greenwashing” and a slight distrust in this market that ultimately yields a highly unpredictable price on carbon removal or offsets. And uncertain prices keep the main customers (corporates, primarily) on the sidelines. The market needed a credible middleman/marketplace creator to accelerate adoption.


This is where Nasdaq’s entry into the space makes a lot of sense. Nasdaq manages one of the most complex, high volume transaction marketplaces in the world.. a stock exchange. Yesterday, Nasdaq announced the acquisition of Puro Earth and immediately brings the entire Nasdaq customer base (both the listed companies and the investors), the market-making technology know-how, and accreditation to the carbon removal ecosystem.

Who is Puro Earth?

Puro.earth, a leading marketplace for carbon removal. Puro.earth is the world´s first marketplace to offer industrial carbon removal instruments that are verifiable and tradable through an open, online platform. The platform already provides carbon removal services to some of the world’s leading corporations, including Microsoft and SEB.

Why could this be a smart deal?

The NASDAQ corporates will immediately trust that Nasdaq can solve many of the existing carbon removal issues. I am assuming that Nasdaq can leverage existing technologies and securities packaging techniques to provide accreditation and exclusive attribution for each carbon removal project.

Once there is greater comfort in exclusivity and attribution of projects, more buyers will enter the market. This will cause the market to reach a near-term steady-state supply/demand price structure. This price confidence will then enable more project developers (carbon sequestration, etc.) to initiate projects as the developers will have higher confidence in the RoIs for those prospective projects. Again, market settlements and price matching are a Nasdaq core skillset…

Net, a win for the ecosystem to see a true financial marketplace enter the carbon capture arena.

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