CBL Global Emissions Offset futures (GEO) FAQ

What is the CBL Global Emissions Offset futures (code GEO) contract?

The Global Emissions Offset futures (GEO) contract is a physically settled contract that allows for delivery of CORSIA eligible voluntary carbon offset credits from three registries: Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), American Carbon Registry (ACR), and Climate Action Reserve (CAR). Deliveries will be facilitated through CBL, a global leader in spot energy and environmental markets.

Please see the Global Emissions Offset futures contract specifications for more information. 

Why is CME Group launching the GEO contract?

CME Group’s global customers are in search of a way to manage future price risk associated with carbon markets across regions. The GEO contract enables increased price transparency for voluntary carbon offsets in future months and provides a mechanism for convergence across different carbon registries and project types.

What are the key capabilities of carbon offset credits?

Carbon offset credits are generated from projects that lead to offsets in emissions behind business as usual practices. Offset credits provide a flexible way to meet certain compliance obligations for state or regional carbon reduction schemes or to voluntarily reduce emissions at the state, corporate, or individual level. Offset projects and credits also bridge the gap between emissions reductions across countries and industries. They are especially useful in the early stages of reduction efforts in compliance programs or voluntary efforts, while long-term low carbon business practices are developed.

Who is CBL?

Xpansiv company CBL provides access to the world’s energy and environmental commodity markets, facilitating the secure and seamless trading of commodities like carbon, renewable energy, water, and gas. Join CBL at cblmarkets.com.

What is CORSIA?

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN specialized agency, adopted the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) as a market-based mechanism to meet an ambitious goal of carbon neutral growth from international aviation beyond 2020. The ICAO has approved seven voluntary carbon offset registries that airlines can use to comply with CORSIA; three of which are included in the futures contract.

Please see the link below for more information on CORSIA:

IATA CORSIA fact sheet


How were the registries chosen for the GEO contract?

CME Group and CBL chose the three CORSIA eligible registries based on a variety of a criteria including access to credits and the ability to resell credits under the programs.

Please see the links below for more information on each eligible registry:

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) applicant:

Please register for VCS here: https://registry.verra.org/mymodule/reg/AHAgreement.asp

Upon receipt of the email instructions for submitting the required documentation, please provide the following to Verra VCS to facilitate the remainder of your registration:

  1. A copy of the passport of the account manager designated on the account
  2. A copy of a recent bank statement with company name on it
  3. A certified copy of the company’s organization documents, such as its Certificate of Incorporation or its Memorandum and Articles of Association 
  4. A certified copy of the appropriate approval document (e.g. board or member resolution authorizing the opening of the account on our registry) 
  5. A brief description of your business model and how it pertains to your account needs in the Verra VCS registry
    1. Do you intend to issue VCUs to retire?
    2. Do you intend to buy VCUs from other entities and sell? 
    3. Do you intend to issue VCUs to retire on behalf of other entities? 
    4. Do you intend to hold VCUs on behalf of other entities? 
  6. A copy of the Project Description Document if a Project Proponent request.
  7. In addition, we will need to know has the applicant, an affiliate of the applicant,  a director, an officer, or a shareholder of the applicant previously applied to open, or actually held or holds, an account with:
    1. any voluntary offset registry (including without limitation Gold Standard, Climate Action Reserve, and/or American Carbon Registry)?
    2. any national registry for EUAs or CERs?

Climate Action Reserve (CAR)

Climate Action Reserve (CAR) applicant:

Please register for CAR here: https://thereserve2.apx.com/mymodule/reg/AHAgreement.asp

Upon receipt of the email instructions for submitting the required documentation, please provide the following to CAR to facilitate the remainder of your registration:

  1. Copy of account manager’s (individual managing the account) current passport or government issued identification, as well as a copy of the passport or government-issued identification of the individual authorized to sign the Terms of Use (TOU), if that individual is not also the account manager.
  2. A copy of a bank statement of the account holder (organization).
  3. A copy of one of the following:
    1. The account holder’s certificate of incorporation, certificate of formation, certificate of partnership, or equivalent formation document, certified by an official of the account holder’s jurisdiction of formation;
    2. A certificate of good standing issued by the account holder’s jurisdiction of formation;
    3. Or with respect to a partnership for which no certificate as described above is available, a copy of the executed partnership agreement.
  4. A copy of your organization’s Articles of Incorporation and any amendments or corrections hereto.
  5. Documentation (Board resolution or similar evidence) showing that the account holder has been authorized to become an account holder of the Climate Action Reserve.
  6. Documentation (Board resolution or similar evidence) showing that the account manager has been authorized to act on behalf of the account holder in connection with the application to become an account holder of the Climate Action Reserve.
  7. A copy of your organization’s corporate structure or organization chart, which includes the names of the account manager’s immediate supervisors, if applicable.
  8. Two references, each from a different employer, including title/position and contact information (telephone number and email). References can include past employers, former professional colleagues, or someone who can speak to your carbon offset experience, such as a current Reserve Account Holder.
  9. A current resume of the account manager.
  10. Will the account holder entity trade, sell, and/or hold credits on behalf of a third party?
  11. The intended method of payment for Account Holder Invoices (check/ACH/wire).
  12. The name of the entity submitting payment, such as the account holder, a different account holder, parent company, etc.

Please note that all documents submitted in a language other than English must be accompanied by a certified English translation. All information provided will be treated as strictly privileged and confidential. The Reserve maintains the right to request further information and documentation from your organization.

American Carbon Registry (ACR)

American Carbon Registry (ACR) applicant:

Please register for ACR here: https://acr2.apx.com/mymodule/mypage.asp

ACR will only process account applications submitted directly from the applicant organization because they want to confirm with the named account manager that they are the individual who reviewed and electronically signed the ACR Terms of Use to legally bind the organization and the email correspondence to confirm the login with that individual.

Upon receipt of the email instructions for submitting the required documentation, please provide the following to ACR to facilitate the remainder of your registration:

  1. A completed New Account Application Form
  2. Certified copy of the applicant's organizational certificate, such as Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Incorporation or Formation, etc. (only for applicants that are not a publicly traded company, utility, or regulated financial institution). Please use language from one the Authorized Manager Authorization Templates.
  3. Board resolution or signed letter from a corporate officer stating that the applicant has chosen to open an ACR account and the Account Manager named on the application is duly appointed and authorized to execute the ACR Terms of Use agreement.

Further details can be found in the Instructions for Opening a New ACR Account document.

What credits/vintages can I deliver against the GEO contract?

The ICAO has outlined specific criteria for how it qualifies registries and projects to comply with CORISA and specifics on which registries and project types are approved to date. Note that the ICAO has a rolling application process for new registries and project types. CME Group will continue to monitor additions to the ICAO list of approved offset providers and projects and may enable additional registries and projects to deliver into the GEO contract over time. Advanced notice will be provided to the market ahead of such action.

ICAO document - CORSIA Emissions Unit Eligibility Criteria

ICAO document – CORSIA Eligible Emissions Units

Are eligible offset credits geared only to airlines

While CORSIA sets the foundation for the GEO contract, carbon offsets that fall under this program should appeal to a wide range of firms that are looking to reduce carbon emissions in a meaningful way. The criteria for CORSIA was chosen as it was established for over four years and verified through a standardized process under UN guidance.

How do I know what type of offset credit I will receive from taking delivery of a GEO contract?

The GEO contract is a “seller’s option” contract, meaning that a firm that expires short with intent of making delivery against the futures contract selects which eligible registry it will delivery carbon offsets from. All participants that chose to make or take delivery must be registered with CBL and with the three eligible carbon registries ahead of futures expiration. Firms taking delivery will receive an offset credit from a registry and project that meets the CORSIA criteria.

What’s the process to onboard with CBL and the three registries?

There is no CBL application, but clients may register for EMA through CBL. . Applicants must provide Supplemental Evidentiary Documentation:

  • A Certificate of Formation in the name of the applicant
  • Evidence of Authority for the registering account manager to open the EMA account on behalf of the entity. For example, board or member resolution authorizing the opening of the account on our registry or letter of authorization on company letterhead executed by company director authorizing the account manager to open and manage the account.
  • A copy of the account manager’s current government-issued ID (driver’s license or passport)
  • A list of registry accounts planned to be linked in EMA: account title, account number, user ID, password, and EMA Ops log in
  • XCHG EMA Agent Designation
  • A list of additional EMA users, if needed

Each GEO-eligible registry has its own set of requirements and supplemental documents.

How can I trade the GEO contract?

GEO futures can be electronically through CME Globex or cleared as block transactions via CME Clearport.

To learn about access to CME Group’s front end trading system, CME Direct, visit https://www.cmegroup.com/trading/cme-direct.html.

What are the key use cases of exchange-cleared futures?

Futures contracts cleared with CME Group offer a host of features and capabilities such as mitigated counterparty risk, robust audit trail for compliance purposes, efficient price execution, access to a wider variety of buyers and sellers, and a transparent settlement process.

For 100 years, CME Group has been a leader in centralized clearing ‒ offering global benchmarks in the Interest Rate, Energy, Equities, Agriculture, Metals, and Foreign Exchange space. CME Group is excited to continue to leverage its experience and reputation to help advance global environmental markets.

Learn more about futures here: https://www.cmegroup.com/education/courses.html