In the race to reduce emissions, carbon offset programmes are gaining worldwide attention. Whether organisations are doing it by choice or because they’re forced to by legislation - more and more companies are looking for ways to reduce their carbon emissions and are even claiming to be partially or even wholly carbon-neutral. However, investors and campaigners are increasingly scrutinising the use of carbon offsetting in order to achieve decarbonisation targets. It would, of course, be preferable to aim for zero emissions across each corporate’s operations and many organisations are working hard to reduce operational emissions, however there are currently a number of hard-to abate sectors and Scope 3 emissions which they may not have direct control over. The solution to full decarbonisation will not appear overnight and we don’t have time to wait for one.
Global carbon trading markets reached a record high value of €229bn in 2020, a figure more than five times greater than levels recorded in 2017. It is predicted that corporate targets alongside countries nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and bold new initiatives such as the Institute of International Finance (IIF)’s Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, will continue to drive dramatic demand increase for carbon credits in the coming years. But it is key that organisations use carbon credits in a very considered way.