Our History

CMS offers Brokerage and Carbon Transaction services both in New Zealand and Internationally

Carbon Market Solutions was established in August 2003 as a New Zealand registered company by New Zealanders, with the aim to assist New Zealand companies transact in the international carbon market. We completed our first international carbon transaction in mid-2005. CMS has been a pioneer in the development of the carbon market in New Zealand. CMS staff and consultants have decades of experience in working on climate change projects globally as advisors, as brokers, traders, and investors. The CMS founders have also been partners in carbon trading companies in London and Moscow, Carbon Capital Markets and C6 Capital. CMS staff and founders have extensive experience working in all regions of the world with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the joint implementation (JI) mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol.

Our History


Carbon Market Solutions or ‘CMS’ was founded at the end of 2003 as a New Zealand-registered company, by John O’Brien (New Zealand) and Wayne King (Cook Islands) to help New Zealand companies participate in the international carbon market. CMS was the lead broker on three of the first four carbon credit deals from New Zealand in the international carbon market which involved selling carbon credits from two landfill gas projects and one wind project. CMS was active as a carbon broker before the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme started in 2008.

During this period, CMS was involved in a number of carbon market firsts in New Zealand such as developing successfully the 2nd, 3rd and 4th ever joint implementation (JI) projects in New Zealand and successfully selling the carbon credits of offshore buyers.


In 2005, CMS brokered the first landfill gas carbon credits project from the Awapuni landfill at Palmerston North in New Zealand to Austria. In 2006, we brokered the second landfill gas carbon credits project from the Burwood landfill in Christchurch, New Zealand to the UK and it was also the first time that Kyoto carbon credits were sold from New Zealand to a private company in the UK. In 2007, CMS also assisted with the sale of renewable energy wind farm emission reduction units (ERUs) from New Zealand to Switzerland. In 2007, CMS was the first company in New Zealand to sell verified emission reductions (VERs) in New Zealand from the Awapuni and Burwood landfill gas projects to various clients and customers in New Zealand. CMS was also the first company in New Zealand to sell VERs to an airline in 2007.


In 2009, CMS was the first company to sell New Zealand Units (NZUs) from forestry converted into Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) from New Zealand to Norway via the international transaction log in the New Zealand registry in what was the world’s largest Kyoto carbon credit forestry deal at the time.

Wayne King took over management of the company as John O’Brien left to live in Europe (Slovakia and Turkey) working with the United Nations. Between 2009-15, CMS was active in assisting companies to import Kyoto carbon credits (certified emission reductions (CERs) and emission reduction units (ERUs)) into New Zealand, as well as assisting companies to buy and sell New Zealand Units (NZUs) and Verified Emission Reductions (VERs). Since the company was incorporated, CMS has sold over NZD 100 million of New Zealand Units (NZUs) in the international market and in New Zealand with our smallest deals being less than 100 NZUs and our largest deals being 500,000 NZUs in one trade.


Carbon Market Solutions is also an investor in New Zealand forestry. In 2011, we invested in the Craigmore Forestry Fund in carbon forestry in New Zealand which generated an additional return from carbon credits.


CMS co-founder Wayne King leaves CMS


In November 2019 Michael Devoe became a shareholder in CMS and started working with the company to develop sales of VERs in New Zealand and under the CORSIA program.

CMS exits its investment in the Craigmore Forestry Fund.


In April 2022, John O’Brien returned to New Zealand to lead CMS and help it to develop its carbon offset project development capacity to complement our experience with brokerage and trading.