UK carbon offset providers could form industry coalition

25 February 2008

Several of the UK's largest carbon offset firms are considering forming an industry trade group designed to bolster the sector's credibility and isolate disreputable operators.


Sources close to the negotiations said the group would likely contain the " longer established" operators that have set up strict accounting and auditing processes to ensure their carbon offset projects deliver expected emission reductions.


"We are working on an industry body to represent quality, credible providers," one source told BusinessGreen. "The group would have agreed entry criteria to ensure only providers of genuine offsets are involved."


He added that the group would help reassure customers of those firms involved that they are "not selling any old offset" and allow the more established end of the sector to communicate to customers and legislators with a "clear voice".


Demand for carbon offsets has boomed over the past few years, but the industry has been dogged by controversy with several operators accused of investing in projects that fail to deliver expected emission reductions and use shoddy accounting practices to resell the same carbon credit several times over.


In separate news, reports this week from research firm PointCarbon claimed that the consultation period for the government's proposed code of best practice for the carbon offset industry is approaching its end, with stakeholders involved in the process claiming the final consultation meeting will be held before the end of the month.



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