The CBL Nature-based Global Emissions Offset (N-GEO) futures contract is the clear frontrunner to become the de facto benchmark of the voluntary carbon market with traded volumes, open interest and participant numbers all up in the past year, said CME Group.

Owain Johnson, CME’s global head of research and product development, said the N-GEO’s popularity was a result of the corporate appeal for nature-based solutions, which typically carry more co-benefits than renewable energy projects, and the fact it relies solely on the Verra registry, which facilitates client onboarding.

The Global Emissions Offset (GEO), which was the first benchmark created by CBL—CME’s partner—and the first futures launched by CME, has seen lower trade activity than the N-GEO, with the gap between the two widening in the last few months.

“The nature-based N-GEO is the frontrunner in terms of traded volumes, open interest, and participant numbers,” Johnson said.