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SBTi in Fierce Backlash Over Carbon Credits 

Staff members at the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) have called for the CEO to be sacked after an announcement that companies could use carbon credits to offset Scope 3 emissions to meet science-based net zero targets. Yesterday, the SBTi announced revisions to its Corporate Net-Zero Standard and proposed extending the use of environmental attribute certificates, such as emissions reduction credits, to tackle Scope 3 value chain emissions. The move has created a split among market players. The International Emissions Trading Association said the decision offered a practical route for corporates to engage in climate action, while climate consultancy EcoAct called it a “forward-thinking move”, highlighting a crucial pathway for bridging the climate finance gap. However, others such as Greenpeace International said the proposal had undermined SBTi’s credibility, with non-profit Carbon Market Watch saying SBTi appeared to have “buckled to pressure” from corporate interests. Detractors even included some of SBTi’s staff members, who in response called for their CEO to resign. Reuters reported that the announcement had come as a “major shock” to the SBTi team, and that they felt it was “not a science-based decision”. Generating credits through carbon engineering or protecting natural carbon sinks are seen as avenues to funnel money to climate-friendly projects, especially in the Global South. But critics have questioned whether this can credibly translate into carbon reduction, or if the market is simply giving companies a licence to pollute. Following a consultation, SBTi plans to issue revised standard by July this year. 

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