Offsets get a code of conned-uct

The British Government's introduction of a 'Code of Conduct' for the voluntary carbon offset industry has been met with gaping yawns from environmentalists. Most greens have come to the conclusion that carbon offsets offer little in the way of effective climate solutions and can actually exacerbate the climate crisis by delaying the inevitable paradigm shift that takes us away from the fossil fuel economy.

You may recall, we covered the topic in our July 2006 issue of New Internationalist Magazine (CO2nned). Some of our friends have weighed in as well.

Today Friends of the Earth have issued a press release adding their voice to the growing chorus of opposition against the offset industry:


Press Release

For Immediate release: Tuesday 19th February 2008

Caution over Government challenge to carbon offsetting

Friends of the Earth has urged caution following today's Government challenge to the voluntary carbon offsetting industry by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.

The environmental campaigning group argues that the introduction of a landmark Government Code of Best Practice for consumer offsetting products will be of limited benefit to the environment. Even if the Code helps consumers make the most ethical choices when it comes to offsetting their carbon, it could be counter-productive by giving people the illusion that any amount of energy consumption is fine as long as they buy offsets.

Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Campaigner Mary Taylor said:

"Carbon offsetting cannot substitute for cutting emissions here and now. This code will still allow offsets to be sold for our increasingly polluting lifestyles - such as sports utility vehicles and flying on extra weekend holidays. Even the Government acknowledges that offsetting is not a cure for climate change."


Contact Marie Reynolds, Friends of the Earth press office on 0207 566 1647/9

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