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Date: 2024-06-12 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00013081

Climate Change
Carbon Control Incentives

Carbon Credits Likely Worthless in Reducing Emissions, Study Says ... Schemes allowed by the Paris climate agreement won't help countries reach their reduction targets, European report says, and should be phased out.


Peter Burgess

Carbon Credits Likely Worthless in Reducing Emissions, Study Says Schemes allowed by the Paris climate agreement won't help countries reach their reduction targets, European report says, and should be phased out. Emissions credits from clean energy projects don't help reduce emissions, study says Trading emissions credits from clean energy projects don't help reduce emissions, a new study says. Credit: Getty Images As nations grapple with how they can slash their emissions as part of the Paris climate agreement [1], some may use international credit schemes that were approved in the treaty process. A new report from the European Commission [2] casts serious doubts about such credits, however, concluding that the vast majority of them likely fail to actually reduce emissions. The report, which was written last year but not published until this April, concludes that buying and selling emissions credits for overseas projects should be limited to a select list that meet rigorous standards, and used only as part of a transition to more effective policies for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. 'Given the inherent shortcomings of crediting mechanisms, we recommend focusing climate mitigation efforts on forms of carbon pricing that do not rely extensively on credits,' the report said, adding that credits should play only a limited role after 2020. 'It's a confirmation that offsetting is fundamentally problematic,' said Aki Kachi, international policy director for Carbon Market Watch [3], an advocacy group in Brussels. The study examined the Clean Development Mechanism [4], created under the Kyoto Protocol to allow countries to offset emissions by purchasing credits linked to green-energy projects on an international market. The system allows a power plant in Germany, for example, to buy credits for the emissions savings from a wind farm in India. The problem, the report says, is that the Indian wind farm likely would have been built anyway, even without the credits purchased by the Germans. In emissions-trading lingo, the reduction would be considered not 'additional.' 'Overall, our results suggest that 85 percent of the projects covered in this analysis and 73 percent of the potential 2013-2020 Certified Emissions Reduction (CER) supply have a low likelihood that emission reductions are additional and are not over-estimated,' said the report, which was prepared by the Öko-Institut e.V., a German research group. 'Only 2 percent of the projects and 7 percent of potential CER supply have a high likelihood of ensuring that emission reductions are additional and are not over-estimated.' In short, the vast majority of credits are unlikely to actually reduce emissions. And while the report examined the Clean Development Mechanism specifically, it said that many of the problems are inherent to emissions crediting schemes, and that the lessons learned would likely apply elsewhere. Carbon offset credits were included as part of the Kyoto Protocol, but have fallen out of favor after scandals in Europe and poor performance, Kachi said. Some countries now decline to use them and the European Union plans to prohibit international trading [5] after 2020. The Paris Agreement left the door open on emissions trading, but it left the details undefined, Kachi said. 'Two years later we're supposed to have more detailed rules for how these things will work under the Paris Agreement, but there's been no progress,' he said. 'It's a controversial issue that the world definitely has found no consensus over.' Published Under: Global Climate Treaty [6] Paris Climate Agreement [7] © InsideClimate News Source URL:


Press statement: New study adds urgency to end UN carbon offsetting scheme

18 Apr 2017

– European Commission publishes new study on Clean Development Mechanism – Study finds 73% of potential offsets to be issued under the scheme between 2013 and 2020 are worthless –

Brussels 19 April 2017. The European Commission has released a new study showing major flaws in carbon offsets from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). As countries flesh out the rules to implement the Paris Agreement, Carbon Market Watch calls for an end to the scheme, and a shift away from offsetting as a climate policy approach. The Commission’s study, carried out by the Öko-Institut, finds that 85% of projects covered in the analysis and 73% of the potential supply of CDM credits from 2013 to 2020 are unlikely to deliver “real, measurable and additional” emission reductions. If these carbon credits were to be used, this could lead to an increase in overall greenhouse gas emissions of over 3.5 billion tonnes of CO2 from 2013 to 2020 alone, equivalent to almost 2 years of emissions in the EU Emissions Trading System. Flaws in offsetting The study adds to a growing body of evidence that shows manifold problems with using carbon offsets. The findings follow a similar study from 2015 showing that the Joint Implementation offsetting system, led to increased emissions of approximately 600 million tonnes. “These new findings are not surprising but they are another reminder that carbon offsetting has not worked as a reliable climate tool.” said Aki Kachi, Carbon Market Watch’s International Policy Director. “The CDM and the emissions shifting concept of offsetting are not fit for the climate challenges ahead – the Paris Agreement’s changed policy landscape calls for a new approach to international climate cooperation.” Demand from aviation The most probable buyers of these CDM credits could be the aviation industry through its recently established offset market: the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). The scheme intends to accept CDM and other UN credits that meet additional standards which the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) aim to finalise this year. “It’s baffling to think that the aviation industry could potentially use credits that do nothing to compensate for their rapidly growing climate impact. To avoid greenwashing, aviation’s new offset market has to exclude credits that have not proven to be effective.” Kelsey Perlman, Aviation Policy Officer at Carbon Market Watch. Negotiations on the role of carbon market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement reconvene next month at the UNFCCC intersessional in Bonn, Germany. — ENDS — Contact: Aki Kachi – International Policy Director Tel: +49 157 868 00855 Kelsey Perlman – Aviation Policy Officer Tel: +32 487 13 02 80 Andrew Coiley – Communications Director Tel: +32 483 65 50 78 Notes to Editor: Find Carbon Market Watch’s Briefing on the CDM phase out here Find Transport & Environment’s statement on the study’s implications for aviation policy here Local realities of CDM projects – A compilation of case studies here (Nov 2013).

By Nicholas Kusnetz Follow @nkus
Apr 19, 2017
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