Information for G00071
Voluntary Carbon Offset: development opportunity or climate get-out clause?
Document begins: Voluntary Carbon Offset: development opportunity or climate get-out clause? Note of a Roundtable discussion, 2nd March 2006 1. Introduction The market for voluntary carbon offsets is growing extremely fast as companies, governments, individuals and organisations outside of the compliance regime look for ways of compensating for their greenhouse gas emissions. The funds generated could contribute to sustainable development. Voluntary offsets can engage individuals in the issue of climate change and create opportunities to experiment and innovate. Yet some fear that voluntary carbon offsets can be a distraction from the challenge of changing fossil-fuel energy systems and that by providing an easy way out they will reduce incentives to change behaviour. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the new economics foundation (nef) are working together to explore how this largely unregulated market for voluntary carbon offsets can be steered in ways that promote sustainable development. The aim of the Round Table was to map different views on the emerging market for voluntary carbon offsets and to identify areas of mutual interest and concern. The meeting was facilitated by Saleemul Huq of IIED and Andrew Simms of nef. Participants were drawn from development agencies, environmental organisations, carbon ...