A new report from Greenpeace East Asia draws attention to the risks associated with carbon offsets in China.
China represents a massive market for the accreditation and sale of carbon offset credits, particularly in the light of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.
Namely, the report claims some 85% of all carbon-neutral LNG cargoes to have been sold to buyers in Asia, whereas Chinese oil and gas companies are accused of purchasing low-quality carbon offsets to support their weak emissions reduction commitments.
In a statement, Li Jiatong, Greenpeace East Asia Beijing-based project leader said: “Carbon offsets are a crediting scheme to enable carbon emissions in one domain by compensating for them elsewhere. In the past few years, the global carbon offset industry has been riddled with scandals and costly methodological errors.”
Li went on to say that carbon offsetting is swiftly enveloping China, even as it is currently in a crisis of confidence around the world.
Further, in his statement, Li points out that carbon offset credits are used as a ‘smoke screen’ by major polluters, particularly such as fossil fuel companies, to mask their continued and often even increased CO2 emissions.
“So, we’re ringing the alarm in China. Carbon offset credits have no place in net zero pledges,” Li concludes.
One of the main subjects of the analysis conducted by Greenpeace are the forestry carbon projects in China, which are said to frequently demonstrate inconsistent levels of quality largely due to a lack of rigorous standards and insufficient data collection.
To help mitigate the issue surrounding faulty carbon offsets, Greenpeace East Asia is urging authorities to disregard them completely where net zero and decarbonization targets are concerned.