Voluntary carbon markets: a misunderstood climate solution

(Eco Business, 30 Jan 2023) Critics who dismiss voluntary carbon markets as greenwashing are overlooking people who are in desperate need of climate finance. Yes, carbon markets have problems that need fixing. But they are an essential solution for communities on the frontline of climate change.

Sandeep Choudhury is co-founder of VNV Advisory Services, a social enterprise working with climate-vulnerable communities in Asia and Africa

A sustainability head of a company rose to the microphone at a conference the other day and proclaimed to the world that they intend to reach net zero by 2040 adding, with emphasis, “without using carbon offsets”.

While the audience applauded, I was left speechless as I wondered what would happen between now and 2040 and how nobody seems to be bothered about that. 

But I was expecting this response. The crowd comprised mainly of woke folk who had been fed the offsets greenwashing story [a recent story in the Guardian alleged that 90 per cent of Verra-certified carbon credits are “worthless”] and believe that offsets are a “licence to pollute”.

Meanwhile, companies that don’t do anything about the climate seem to be in the clear. Damned if you do, great if you don’t seems to be the way to go.

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Eco Business, 30 Jan 2023: Voluntary carbon markets: a misunderstood climate solution