Companies around the world are increasingly relying on carbon offsetting credits to demonstrate their green credentials. However, a recent investigation by The Guardian, Die Zeit and SourceMaterial has revealed that many of these credits are essentially worthless.
The investigation focused on Verra, the world’s leading carbon standard for the offsetting market, and found that the majority of credits being bought are likely to be “phantom credits”. Verra has contested the study’s findings, arguing that its work has channelled billions of dollars into rainforest protection.
Patrick Greenfield, the biodiversity reporter for The Guardian’s Age of Extinction project, explains why carbon offsetting credits should not be relied upon to tackle the climate crisis. He argues that the focus should instead be on decarbonisation.
The investigation highlights the importance of funding for investigative journalism, which is essential for uncovering the truth about issues such as climate change. The Guardian is committed to providing independent, open journalism, and is asking its readers to help fund its work.
The findings of the investigation into Verra demonstrate the need for more stringent regulations and oversight of the carbon offsetting market, to ensure that the credits being sold are effective in protecting the environment. It also raises questions about the effectiveness of carbon offsetting as a whole in tackling the climate crisis.