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Carbon Offset Verification

snowy trees

The Carbon Offset Verification service that we provide typically consist of a desktop audit with a site visits (s) where appropriate. Verification can be a simple job when dealing with standardised carbon offset schemes, but occasionally it can be very complicated where the records are not in order. Please note we cannot provide verification services under the Woodland Carbon Code as only two UK bodies can provide that service.

One thing you can be sure of it that we operate independently, to verify that an carbon offset scheme that you are using or considering is the real thing. We provide a detailed report with fact checking and assessment for weaknesses that can occasionally be encountered. We expand on these weaknesses below:

Non-Additional Carbon Offsets

The most common practice! Company A wants to install solar panels, they are going to do this anyway because it will lessen their energy bill. They also then claim the carbon reduction as an offset. These are the schemes we need to avoid if we which for a true offset. Image:

Ethics of Carbon Offsetting

The ethics of carbon offsetting are sometimes called in to question. This is particularly true when we consider schemes in developing countries. Does the offset scheme suppress development in a developing country, in order to support the life style of those in the west? If yes, then perhaps there is an ethics issue.

Carbon Offset Permanence

There is a risk that emission reductions generated by bio-sequestration projects can be reversed, and thus are not permanent (e.g. forest destruction through illegal logging or fire or pests). We have seen schemes like this which can you can read about of the Carbon Offset Page

A Check List for Goof Carbon Offsets

There is a very goof list and explanation given by the Stockholm Environmental Institute. Which are summarized below:

-Offsets Should Be Real
-Offsets Should Be Additional
-Offsets Should Be Based on a Realistic Baseline
-Offsets Should Be Quantified & Monitored
-Offsets Should Be Independently Verified
-Offsets Should Be Unambiguously Owned and Listed in a Registry
-Offsets Should Address Permanence
-Offsets Should Do No Net Harm and Strive to Lead to Co-Benefits

The ENDS Guide to Carbon Offsets 2009