'In early 2023, the Guardian
published an article suggesting that more than
90% of rainforest carbon offsets are worthless. These credits are essentially a
promise to protect forests and can be bought as a way to "offset" emissions
Verra, the largest certifier of these offset credits, said the claims were
"absolutely incorrect" but the story still shook confidence in the
billion-dollar market. Soon after, Verra's CEO stood down.
The claims in the Guardian
article rested heavily on analysis which had been
published as a preprint (before peer review). Now the research has been fully
peer-reviewed and is published in the journal Science
It shows unequivocally that many projects which have sold what are known as
REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation) credits have
failed to reduce deforestation.
REDD+ projects aim to slow deforestation (for example, by supporting farmers to
change their practices). They quantify the carbon saved through reducing
deforestation relative to what would have happened without the project, and
sell these emission reductions as credits.
Such REDD+ credits are widely used to "offset" (that is, cancel out) emissions
from companies (who may use them to make claims that their operations are
carbon neutral) or by people concerned about their carbon footprint.'
Via Rixty Dixet.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics