SBTi CEO Luiz Amaral Steps Down Amid Criticism Of Carbon Offsets Endorsement

SBTi Releases Two Reports To Support Beyond Value Chain Mitigation - Carbon Herald

Luiz Amaral, CEO of the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), an influential global non-profit orgniazation, has resigned earlier this week following a public clash regarding the use of carbon offsets to compensate for direct and indirect company emissions.

In a statement Mr. Amaral said: “Our work has gone global with major growth outside Europe and North America—especially in Asia. To ensure we can sustain this momentum and improve our governance, we have begun the full separation of standard development and target validation services—which will set SBTi up for the years ahead. Now it is time for new leadership to take the helm and guide the organization into this promising new phase that can deliver even more impact worldwide.”

Susan Jenny Ehr, Chief Legal Officer of SBTi will assume the role of interim CEO during the search for a permanent replacement.

The resignation follows similar moves in organizations involved in the carbon markets like South Pole and Verra in 2023.

Relevant: South Pole CEO Steps Down Following Controversial Project In Zimbabwe

What led up to SBTi CEO resignation?

In April an announcement issued by the board of trustees of SBTi saying it would be offering guidance to corporates to offset their Scope 3 emissions by purchasing carbon credits, caused an immediate backlash both internally and externally.

SBTi staff members wrote a protest letter, in which they rejected the Board’s statement and criticized the lack of a science-based approach to the ‘guardrails and thresholds’ for the offsetting of Scope 3 emissions.

The SBTi board issued a clarification shortly after, stating that any change in the standards for using offsets would only come after the publishing of a public discussion paper in July. SBTi is still working on this consultation but the resignation could be considered as an early sign that it won’t be endorsing the use of carbon offsets.

As it stands there are over 4,000 global companies and institutions that validate their net zero and emission targets with the SBTi, making it one of the most impactful voices when it comes to decarbonization.

Read more: SBTi Carbon Credits Announcement Stirs Up Conflict Within The Organization

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