Home > Editorial > Voluntary Carbon Standard launched in London

Voluntary Carbon Standard launched in London

In recent times, carbon offsetting has had some bad press, with analysts inquiring that how green or latest carbon offsetting projects are. But, with the launch of the latest Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) in London, it is believed that carbon offsets will get back their validity and receive a fresh framework. The use of offset programmes is already on a large scale and it is expected that the market will touch $4 billion over a period of the coming five years.

So, now the question arises that how do they actually work? Basically when a company is intended to be carbon neutral, it gives money to be invested into environmental projects, such as a renewable energy project in a developing nation. The CO2 emissions that will be eliminated by the environmental project can be traded on the carbon markets.

However, a few of the environmental projects have come under eagle eye and there are some doubts emerged out. In one such case, investigations have been made by BusinessWeek magazine for a project that did reduce environmental pollution. But there was no clarity that whether the offset project qualified as something fresh or just a part of what that organistion would have done regardless of any investments for offsetting.

The new Voluntary Carbon Standard was jointly developed by the the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), Climate Group, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The developers claimed that with this, there will be a greater transparency and rigor in the process of certification of chosen carbon offset projects. Apart from the voluntary markets for carbon reductions trading, there is a regulated market which was set up in Europe when the Kyoto Protocol was established.

Mark Kenber, who is the policy director of The Climate Group and also the co-chair of the VCS Steering Committee, said, “Urgent and drastic action is required to stabilise climate change. The voluntary carbon market has an important role to play in bringing down emissions quickly and priming the pump of clean green innovation while the politics catches up”.

The best model can be to reduce, to reuse and to recycle, but for present, carbon offsetting is a right decision.

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