It’s been an interesting week on Linkedin and watching the media output following the Guardian newspaper’s one-sided article on the validity of carbon credit issuance. This seems an irresponsible approach, that completely disregards the immense and critical benefits gained by funding the protection and regeneration of nature.
I feel that as CEO of a global platform that supports hundreds of conservation organisations benefiting indigenous tribes and small holders globally, who are dedicated to helping to protect, regenerate and prevent forest biodiversity loss, we have a deep insight and decades of experience in this sector.
It’s clear that scrutiny and scientific evaluation is important, especially in an area that is so new and that aims to address such an urgent need for our planet. Verra’s concise response strongly refutes the alarmist claim that 94% of REDD+ carbon credits are over issued and do not represent genuine reductions in carbon emissions. They identified the fundamental flaws in relying on “incorrect synthetic controls” for REDD+ projects that did not compare “like for like,” that disregarded Verra’s stringent methodologies and did not take into account on the ground, site specific pre-conditions and local factors specific to each project. It’s also important to note that the West et al. 2020 and 2023 and Guizar-Coutiño et al. 2022 studies, which The Guardian based its article on, have not been peer reviewed, so the validity and impact of this seems disproportionate and grossly misleading.
My concern is the wider impact this attempt to discredit the voluntary carbon market will have, not only businesses that genuinely want to contribute to forest conservation as part of their net zero strategies but more importantly the impact on the local communities and landholders who are dedicated to preserving the world’s natural resources and ecosystems.
I’d like to therefore focus on the positives, on the incredible opportunity nature based solutions bring to communities, individuals, companies and ultimately our planet.
What’s good about the voluntary carbon market?
All of these factors are driving a ‘carbon markets V2.0’ approach and the next critical decade for climate action and enabling climate finance to hit the ground and protecting forests has never been in better shape. We now have the technology and investment to drive real protection, regeneration and move toward a more established and robust market.
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