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UK’s CCC Warns on Carbon Offset use

Increasing numbers of business are using carbon offsets through voluntary carbon markets to manipulate the appearance of their net zero transition. A new report by the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) on the risks and opportunities of voluntary carbon markets says the UK government needs to take action to ensure progress towards net zero. The purchase of carbon credits on voluntary carbon markets allows firms to use the credits rather than change their business operations to comply with legally binding emissions reduction obligations. The report says firms are using carbon credits as a “substitute for direct business emissions reduction”. The CCC said that the government must introduce “stronger guidance, regulation and standards” for carbon credits, or risk voluntary carbon markets “slow[ing] progress towards net zero or damage other priorities such as climate adaptation and biodiversity”. Chris Stark, The CCC’s Chief Executive, said: “Businesses want to do the right thing and it’s heartening to see so many firms aiming for early net zero dates. But poor-quality offsets are crowding out high-integrity ones. Businesses face confusion over the right approach to take.” 

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