Executive Briefings

Carbon Offset Program May Have Boosted Amount of Emissions, Study Finds

A study released by the Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI) has revealed serious issues with the environmental integrity of carbon credit issued under Joint Implementation (JI). According to the review, about three-quarters of the carbon credits issued under JI may have actually increased emissions by about 600 million metric tons.

Carbon Offset Program May Have Boosted Amount of Emissions, Study Finds

JI enables countries with emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to generate Emission Reduction Units (ERUs) from greenhouse gas reduction projects and transfer them to other countries. As of March 2015, almost 872 million ERUs had been issued under JI, but in a random sample of 60 JI projects, 73 percent of the offsets came from projects that likely would have proceeded even without carbon revenues. Altogether, the study found that about 80 percent of ERUs came from project types of low or questionable environmental integrity and more than 95 percent of ERUs were issued by countries with significant allowance surpluses of allowances.

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JI enables countries with emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to generate Emission Reduction Units (ERUs) from greenhouse gas reduction projects and transfer them to other countries. As of March 2015, almost 872 million ERUs had been issued under JI, but in a random sample of 60 JI projects, 73 percent of the offsets came from projects that likely would have proceeded even without carbon revenues. Altogether, the study found that about 80 percent of ERUs came from project types of low or questionable environmental integrity and more than 95 percent of ERUs were issued by countries with significant allowance surpluses of allowances.

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Carbon Offset Program May Have Boosted Amount of Emissions, Study Finds