Haley Zaremba reports:
“COP27 highlights the controversial and sometimes contradictory nature of carbon credits as credit scheme proposals spark debate and even turmoil at the event currently in its second and final week in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. While some argue that a carbon credit scheme is an essential form of climate finance for developing countries, others argue that it could easily fall prey to greenwashing and ultimately be a distraction from more impactful and sustainable solutions. The idea behind carbon offsetting is to allow countries or companies to offset their own greenhouse gas emissions by paying other entities to reduce theirs. The thinking is that this would enable better-funded companies to financially assist poorer countries in their efforts to decarbonize the economy. The criticism, of course, is that these better-funded companies or countries can then carry on without necessarily investing in their own decarbonization. Essentially, by buying carbon credits from the carbon credit market, they can tick their own box for reducing emissions without doing so in practice.
Some world and industry leaders see the carbon credit market as a vital part of solving complex climate finance issues, while others see it as greenwashing that clouds intensified low-carbon targets. There are also major political bottlenecks. From one perspective, is it an injustice that developing countries, which have contributed least to global greenhouse gas emissions, are now being asked to shoulder the burden of decarbonizing their own economies before they have had a chance to fully develop, while wealthy countries with a long history of carbon-based economic development can continue to enrich themselves from fossil fuels…”
In future issues, OCA will lay out our plan (“Organic Carbon Credits’), developed with Regeneration International, Hudson Carbon, and leading organic certifiers, for an alternative to the bogus international system of Carbon Trading and Carbon Credits that has heretofore amounted to little more than greenwashing.