Developing Countries Call On SBTi To Push For Companies To Be Able To Use Carbon Offsets

Developing Countries Call On SBTi To Push For Companies To Be Able To Use Carbon Offsets Carbon Herald
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Ensuring the validity and credibility of emission reduction and removal projects is the key tool in ensuring carbon markets would continue to attract the critical financing it needs for such efforts. A group of 10 West African countries has sent a letter to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the world’s top corporate climate-target verifier, taking part in the debate over whether companies around the world should be allowed to use carbon offsets to be counted as cutting emissions. 

The countries – Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal and Togo, are trying to ensure offsetting is included within net-zero guidance to companies. They also argue they are critical to attracting financing for climate and conservation efforts.

Relevant: SBTi Carbon Credits Announcement Stirs Up Conflict Within The Organization

Adding to the debate whether companies can be allowed to excuse their emissions with carbon offsets who suffer from ethics and efficacy issues, the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent a warning about “dubious carbon offsets that erode public trust while doing little or nothing to help the climate.”

“We need high integrity carbon markets that are credible and with rules consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. I also encourage scientists and engineers to focus urgently on carbon dioxide removal and storage – to deal safely and sustainably with final emissions from the heavy industries hardest to clean,” he added. 

As some carbon offsets projects have been historically related to lack of transparency on whether they actually achieve climate benefits or money paid by corporations for such projects that claimed carbon neutrality may have never actually ended up financing the environmental initiatives, many experts are suggesting that carbon credits should be allowed to be used for only up to around 10% of corporate emissions. 

Relevant: SBTi Issues Official Clarification To Its Scope 3 Statement

SBTi’s board of trustees said on April 9 that, subject to certain rules and guidance, it would allow companies to use offsets for Scope 3 emissions which are associated with supply chains, distribution and product use. The decision was welcomed by both companies and developing countries that are relying on carbon offset projects to generate income. However, without backing up carbon reduction claims with actual scientific proof for emission reductions and climate benefits, developing countries risk to attract more scrutiny and discourage further investments.

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