Bloomberg: Companies Greenwashing Their Image Using “Bogus” Carbon Credits

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Essay by Eric Worrall

Carbon credits – the only “market” where false claims benefit both parties in the transaction.

Junk Carbon Offsets Are What Make
These Big Companies ‘Carbon Neutral’

Dozens of the biggest global companies — from banks to industrial heavyweights — have made bold climate claims justified by cheap renewable-energy offsets that don’t counteract global warming

By Akshat RathiNatasha White and Demetrios PogkasGreen
21 November 2022

For more than a decade, Credit Suisse Group AG has claimed to be “carbon neutral” in its operations. Every gleaming office tower, every flight by an executive — all the emissions generated directly by a global banking giant are supposedly counterbalanced. A closer look at the Swiss bank’s sustainability reports tells a different story: its sweeping claim is based on purchases of low-quality carbon offsets that experts rate as useless.

Most of these renewable-energy offset purchases are not credible, according to Julio Friedmann, chief scientist at consultancy Carbon Direct and one of six researchers who reviewed the data. “I would consider these to be low-quality credits that did not avoid or reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” he said.

Purchasing credits tied to support of solar or wind projects sounds good for the climate. But experts consider these offsets largely bogus. The issue is timing: many renewable offsets came into being just as solar and wind power established themselves as the cheapest source of energy in most countries. Selling offsets for small sums as a way to support the economics of renewables doesn’t provide any real benefit if it’s already cheaper than building new coal or gas power plants.

…Read more:

Note: “Carbon neutral claim” is based on published company reports, company statements or public comments by executives and refers to claims made at the group, subsidiary company and/or product level. Eni and Spotify have both made product-level carbon neutral claims but these are on the basis of forestry-based offsets only.
Source: Bloomberg Green analysis of retirements of 1,000 carbon offsets or more in three registries: Clean Development Mechanism, Verra and Gold Standard; company reports and responses to Bloomberg Green inquiries; filings with the Carbon Disclosure Project. 

Greens might as well give up on carbon credits and carbon markets. How can you fix a market in which both buyers and sellers appear to have a keen interest in concealing the flaws?

Even the war on drugs isn’t this difficult, I mean at the end of the day the drug dealers have to deliver product. Going by Bloomberg, all carbon credit vendors have to deliver is a smooth narrative and a competitive price.

via Watts Up With That?

November 22, 2022

Bloomberg: Companies Greenwashing Their Image Using “Bogus” Carbon Credits — Watts Up With That?

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