Carbon Offsets Round 2?
As previously mentioned the likelihood of a Carbon Offsets Round 2 has been greatly increased by the formation of the Task Force on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, and the recent release of its Consultation Document.
The Consultation Document focuses overwhelmingly on the goal of radically expanding voluntary carbon markets, and the financial and market tools that can be used to that end. As is often the case when discussing carbon offsets, the Consultation Document simply takes for granted that this can all be done while maintaining the environmental integrity of carbon offsets. For example, the Appendix includes this Table:
Laying out the “minimum quality standards for the offset product” it states that reductions will be additional, permanent, and free of leakage. There is no discussion at all in the document of how this will occur, or why future offset experience will be so different from offset experience to date.
There is no reference at all in the Consultation Document to the lessons learned during the 30 years of Carbon Offsets Round 1. We hope that this micro-website can help ensure that those 30 years of experience are recognized, explored, and incorporated as a critical element of advancing climate change mitigation goals through any expansion of voluntary carbon markets.
Note that this Climate Site has barely scratched the surface of all of the work that has been done on carbon offsets over the last 30 years. We often tend to assume that any work more than six months old is no longer relevant. When it comes to carbon offsets, this has resulted in the carbon offsets wheel being repeatedly reinvented over the decades. Enormous amounts of analytical work on offsets were done during the 1990’s, repeated during the mid 2,000’s, and being repeated again today. Much of the original work remains directly relevant.
The Climatographers are happy to engage with interested parties with regard to anything covered in this Climate Site, or the extensive resources available in the Climate Web.