A climate target group is in turmoil after greenlighting a plan to allow companies to use carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across their value chain. 

The Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), a climate action organization that sets targets for corporations to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, is in damage control for embracing, then walking back on, a carbon credit plan. SBTi has acted as the de facto carbon credit verification organization for corporate climate plans

A document from the company, however, revealed carbon offsetting practices encouraging the sale of carbon credits “are ineffective in delivering emissions reductions.” Despite this push, the carbon credit market is only valued at $2 billion—nowhere near the projected goal of $250 billion by 2050. This poor return led forecasters to downgrade the carbon credit market.

However, many of SBTi’s financial backers—including the Bezo Earth Fund—would like companies to proceed with the practice. Former Biden administration Climate Envoy John Kerry heavily lobbied for and supported this plan, as well.

This revelation comes after oil giant Shell reportedly sold “millions” of phantom credits for carbon that was never captured—including for rice farming. A recent report also found carbon offsetting doesn’t curb deforestation either.

IWF Center for Energy and Conservation has closely tracked the controversial practice of carbon offsetting and carbon credit sales. Pop singer Taylor Swift was guilted into the practice, despite its many shortcomings. And I’ve written on our website how the practice will doom the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement: 

Much like carbon offsets, high ESG scores often obfuscate environmental reality…Virtue signaling on the environment—by way of carbon offsets or employing ESG principles—undermines true conservation efforts. 

The problem isn’t the current voluntary nature of carbon offsets or credits; it’s the concept altogether. 

Why is carbon offsetting not gaining more traction? The practice inflates emission reduction promises while reduction goals lean on vague future forecasts. Carbon credits are consistently shown to be worthless, and offsetting is considered a “scam” that, ironically, invites environmental damage under the guise of going net zero. 

For example, the newly finalized Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Conservation Landscape and Health rule will allow solar companies to bid on restoration and mitigation leases to offset their negative impact on public lands. Per a related fact sheet: “The solar project developer or another entity could apply for a mitigation lease to restore or protect wilderness and recreation values in a different location for the duration of the project impacts, thereby offsetting the unavoidable impacts of the development.”

It’s very hard to abandon a “carbon-intensive” lifestyle unless you’re willing to accept unreliable power sources and a lower standard of living. That’s why many net-zero proponents project the image yet never abandon first-world living standards. Consumers shouldn’t be guilted either.

From the faux carbon market known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to carbon offsets, the CEC has found punitive policies curb and tax carbon disproportionately hurt consumers and fail to deliver environmental benefits.  

To learn more about carbon offsetting, go HERE.