Offset Standard Is off Target

by Kevin Smith

first published 3 April 2008

Reacting to the criticism that private carbon "offset" providers are selling a lot of hot air, the British government recently proposed that only those offsets certified by the UN's Kyoto Protocol should be allowed on the market. Predictably, the carbon sector has countered with schemes for self-regulation.

But when even the UN's system is generating millions of credits widely conceded to be bogus, what hope is there for regulating the carbon cowboys? What's more, the heavier the attempted regulation becomes, the more the offset market becomes the private preserve of large polluting corporations that have the money to work the system.

This article was written for Red Pepper.


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