The forest protection carbon offsetting market used by major airlines for claims of carbon-neutral flying faces a significant credibility problem, with experts warning the system is not fit for purpose, an investigation has found.
Money from carbon offsets can provide vital financial support for projects seeking to protect and restore some of the most beautiful threatened ecosystems around the world. Given that nature-based solutions can make a significant contribution to the climate mitigation needed to stabilise global heating, a functioning finance channel will be important for climate change progress, and particularly for developing countries.
But a joint investigation into the offsetting schemes used by some of the world’s largest airlines carried out by the Guardian and Unearthed, Greenpeace’s investigative arm, found that although many forest projects were doing valuable conservation work, the credits that they generated by preventing environmental destruction appear to be based on a flawed and much-criticised system, even though these credits were being used to back up claims of “carbon-neutral flying” and net-zero commitments.
We looked at 10 forest protection schemes that airlines were using before the pandemic which had been accredited by Verra, a US nonprofit which administers the world’s leading carbon credit standard, VCS (Verified Carbon Standard)…