Carbon Trust cautions against relying on carbon credits for net zero

Jul 04 | 2024

The Carbon Trust in the UK has acknowledged the challenges businesses face in their journey to reduce Scope 3 emissions, not only from a data gathering and tracking perspective, but also the difficulties faced in influencing their extended and global value chains.

However, the organisation has said that it firmly believes that businesses should continue to prioritise emissions mitigation activities, exploring all possible decarbonisation routes throughout the value chain, including through investment in innovation and engagement with peers and value chain partners. 

The Trust said that international best practice advises against relying on climate credits to achieve near or long-term emissions reduction targets within the value chain. Aleyn Smith-Gillespie, Director at the Carbon Trust, explained: “The role and effectiveness of carbon offsets in addressing the challenge of value chain emissions is highly contested and the use of Environmental Attribute Certificates, which may include offsets, is still the subject of research by the SBTi (Science Based Targets Initiative) itself. This work should be allowed to conclude before informing any changes to the SBTi Net Zero Standard. The SBTi is right to recognise that there is still ‘healthy debate’ on the use of Environmental Attribute Certificates, with their incorporation as a route for Scope 3 emissions reduction a decision that should not be taken lightly. We welcome the dialogue and are prepared to contribute our expertise towards it.” 

The trust concludes that for carbon credits, including offsets, to have a role, they need to guarantee good outcomes ...

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