New Oxford Offsetting Principles Call For Focus On Carbon Removal

New Oxford Offsetting Principles Call For Focus On Carbon Removal - Carbon Herald
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The updated Oxford Offsetting Principles have just been published, and they reflect the changes emissions offsetting and the world’s carbon markets have undergone since their initial release. 

The original Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting were first introduced by a team at Oxford University in 2020 and are meant to provide guidance for companies, states and other actors who wish to offset their CO2 emissions by purchasing carbon credits. 

Namely, the principles have to do with ensuring the reliability of purchased credits, as well as the conditions under which they should be used. 

The updated version of the principles still has them intact, but elaborates on them further in order to provide more clarity and reflect the leaps and bounds in which both scientific research and the voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) have been developing in recent years. 

The Oxford Offsetting Principles have been welcomed with excitement from different stakeholders across the carbon industry, particularly representatives of the emerging carbon dioxide removal (CDR) space. 

Relevant: Carbon Removal Prices To Continue Going Down According To Report From AlliedOffsets And Carbon Herald

As stated by the paper’s co-author and head of policy and partnerships at Oxford Net Zero Kaya Axelsson, the updates seek to support CDR projects given their underrepresentation in the VCM. 

“One little-known fact is that hardly any of the carbon market removes and stores carbon at all. Currently, the majority of carbon credits are for avoided emissions, and these are often over-credited or have trouble proving that they had an impact beyond what would have happened anyway,” Axelsson said.

The remaining principles revolve around the pressing need to focus on reducing emissions, shifting to removals with durable storage, and supporting the development of novel solutions that will pave the way to net zero. 

Read more: Bain & Company Makes The Inaugural VCMI Carbon Integrity Claim

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