“The Voluntary Carbon Market has produced some of the most egregious examples of #greenwashing on record and is synonymous with a lack of integrity. Voluntary Schemes do not work and are a distraction from reducing carbon to displacing responsibility for carbon emissions.” (Paul Watchman, UK, below)
Last week, three posts at MasterResource documented the problem of carbon offsets as a partial solution to the alleged problem of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions:
The Voluntary Carbon Market has produced some of the most egregious examples of #greenwashing on record and is synonymous with a lack of integrity. Voluntary Schemes do not work and are a distraction from reducing carbon to displacing responsibility for carbon emissions. A bit like Medieval indulgences. In a period of time when lawyers have been urged to advise their clients of the carbon impact of their activities and the industrial greenwashing of bonds and S-L loans has been exposed by the FT and Bloomberg (an activity which requires lawyer complicity) we should hesitate.
Draw up a list of distractions from Net Zero:
Kick them into the long grass or regulate them. Complete waste of time and money or we need to try anything? Regulate them by national and international legislation and regulators and come clean that plants with names like Orca and Gorgon have not delivered or are not scaleable at reasonable cost. Drag those who would say otherwise the government sweet shop and #lawyers #lawfirms use your critical position to influence your clients to be honest. Most of all don’t compromise your own integrity by participating in creating financial instruments and vehicles which have no Net Zero impact. #lawyer #markets
I am truly worried about law firms acting for a wide range of companies which create bonds and loans without any impact targets and pass them off as ESG-driven. Equally worrying are the lack of scrutiny, transparency, reporting and sanctions. It may be that they are curate’s eggs but now the greenwashing has been highlighted stop it!
Yes, the three-card monty of “greenwashing” is wasteful and wholly unnecessary. But it is predictable in a political world. It is a cost of the anti-CO2 crusade that was entirely avoidable given a realistic view of climate and energy.
Unfortunately, lawyers and accountants are all on board with EGS this-or-that given a whole lot of billable hours in view. Do not expect these rent-seekers to call off the futile crusade, just further politicize “green” strategies.
Paul Watchman linked to this analysis from the law firm White & Case on how to evaluate/regulate “voluntary” carbon reduction programs. It begins:
The Assessment Procedure sets out the procedure by which carbon credits are designated as ‘CCP-eligible’ by the ICVCM. Through the Assessment Procedure, the ICVCM will assess whether the carbon-crediting programs and their specific methodologies comply with the CCPs. There are three steps to being designated as CCP-eligible:
The above is complicated and premised on a very iffy proposition that CO2 is a negative externality, and that mitigation, not adaptation, is the realistic way forward to deal with weather/climate extremes.