Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Surprise – According to The Guardian, airline carbon credit “projects had routinely overstated their emissions reductions”.

Carbon offsets used by major airlines based on flawed system, warn experts

Guardian investigation finds carbon credits generated by forest protection schemes are based on flawed system

Patrick Greenfield @pgreenfielduk
Tue 4 May 2021 22.00 AEST

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.

Thales West, a scientist and former project auditor, led a study on schemes in the Brazilian Amazon that found that projects had routinely overstated their emissions reductions. He said that the methodologies “are not robust enough” which means “there is room for projects to generate credits that have no impact on the climate whatsoever”.

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Airlines are not alone allegedly cheating the system, recently the New Zealand government was accused of using dodgy accounting to exaggerate their emissions reduction “achievements”.

And of course, silicon valley greens, who noisily diss Conservatives and back green causes on the public stage, are regularly accused of collaborating with big oil, and giving energy intensive bitcoin a climate pass, despite the complete lack of necessity. Google even fired two ethics heads, allegedly because they committed the sin of pointing out Google’s AI push is burning a lot of carbon intensive electricity.

Sometimes I almost feel sorry for greens. They are surrounded by alleged cheats and liars on all sides. Imagine actually believing the planet is in peril – then watching everyone treat you like a fool. Surely only the dumbest greens could possibly be deceived by these transparent alleged deceptions.

Of course, that twinge of sympathy for greens quickly evaporates whenever I look at my energy bill.

via Watts Up With That?

May 5, 2021