Warn UK voluntary carbon markets need supervision

The UK should better regulate voluntary markets for carbon To ensure companies do not use the credits as a substitute for reducing emissions, according to the state climate watchdog.

The independent panel on climate change said in a report Thursday that politicians should provide a clear definition of net zero business and tell companies to disclose their reliance on carbon offsets to increase transparency.

There is a clear need for the government strengthen – strengthen standards and direct companies toward an approach that prioritizes actual emissions reductions over compensation,” Chris Stark, the executive director of the commission, said in a statement.

The UK is trying to achieve net zero carbon emissions by mid-century, but the unprecedented energy crisis, which could increase dependence on coal due to rising natural gas prices, is challenging that goal.

Carbon offsets, or credits, allow companies to pollute at home in exchange for investing in greener projects elsewhere. Voluntary markets, in which participants do not adhere to legal mandates, can attract investment in clean innovation and accelerate emissions reductions.

While these markets have grown broadly in recent years, the effectiveness of the loans is called into question, according to the CCC. Critics have questioned the accuracy of the offsets and whether they are actually slowing climate change.

In its report, the commission said government measures should encourage companies to cut emissions directly and rely on compensation as a last resort. Without stronger guidance, “there is a real risk that voluntary carbon markets will delay progress toward net zero or harm other priorities such as climate adaptation and biodiversity.”

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