Record land and ocean heatwaves, shrinking Antarctic and Arctic sea ice, extreme bushfires: if we needed reminding why greenhouse gas emissions must come down fast, 2023 is putting on a masterclass. But now there is more evidence that a method of carbon offsetting favoured by industries looking to “cancel out” their own greenhouse gas footprints, is seriously flawed. Research published today in Science has found that carbon credits from some forest conservation projects are being inflated, and may not actually be offsetting even close to the amount of emissions they’re claiming. In some instances, they may not be offsetting any at all, the study by an international team of scientists found. …The REDD+ projects in the study were located in Peru, Colombia, Tanzania, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cambodia. Of the 18 projects looked at, the researchers estimated, on average, the number of carbon credits generated were around three times the additional carbon actually stored.
Additional coverage in Mongabay, by John Cannnon: REDD+ projects falling far short of claimed carbon cuts, study finds