A team led by Barbara Haya, a research fellow with CITRIS Climate and the California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE) and the director of the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project, has found that carbon offset registries allow developers to systematically over-credit projects with greater climate savings benefits than deserved.
The researchers assessed the methods underpinning forestry projects responsible for 11 percent of all the offsets ever issued. In each, they noticed shortcomings that produce “junk credits” that allow companies to make exaggerated claims of being green.
“Across the board, they fall far short from good practice in carbon accounting,” Haya said. “It’s pervasive.”