Climate change Explanation: Stricter rules of the game are needed for emission credits

However, the authors of the study commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment would not create new coercive legislation but would prefer softer instruments.

Volunteers clearer rules of the game need to be created for emission compensation providers, says a recent study commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment. The report proposes that a national register of reliable compensation providers be created in Finland.

Voluntary emission offsets refer to services that allow a consumer or business to offset the emissions caused by their activities by financing emission reduction measures elsewhere. The popularity of compensation is growing both in Finland and in the world, and the number of service providers is also growing. Indeed, it can be difficult for a buyer to estimate how impressive projects his money will go to.

“The supply has been relatively varied. There have even been misleading or difficult-to-verify claims in consumer marketing, ”says the project manager of the study. Anna Laine From Gaia Consulting.

Read more: Airlines will soon start compensating for hundreds of millions of tonnes – scientists and environmental organizations warn of compensation pitfalls

Clearance The authors suggest that a national register of reliable service providers be created in Finland. Access to the register would require the fulfillment of certain criteria. The register would be voluntary and would be financed partly by public funds and partly by fees collected from operators.

The authors believe that this would be the most effective of the individual measures.

In addition, they are proposing lighter measures: a joint commitment by the industry to certain rules of the game, a guide prepared by public authorities for buyers of compensation, and a consumer ombudsman’s policy on what claims can be used to trade compensation.

On the other hand, the authors see no need for new, coercive legislation. In their view, regulation could be unreasonably onerous, and difficult to formulate with sufficient precision, on the one hand, to allow the development of a young sector, on the other.

“Too strict, mandatory requirements can even reduce the number of environmentally beneficial projects,” the report states.

The authors point out that the ban on misleading marketing under the Consumer Protection Act already applies to compensation services.

Volunteers There has been a lot of discussion in Finland about the regulation of emission offsets, especially in the context of the Compensate Foundation case.

Former Green MP Antero Vartian established a non-profit foundation began to provide a service where the consumer could pay an additional price to compensate for the climate impact of his purchase when purchasing a product or service. However, the service came across the Police Board’s interpretation that the service provided is free of charge, ie it requires a fundraising permit, which the company cannot obtain.

Read more: Antero Vartia, the founder of the Climate Foundation, complains about the Police Board to the Chancellor of Justice – Researchers interviewed by HS also consider the police position to be incorrect

The policy has received a lot of criticism from experts. Due to the policy of the Police Board, Finnair also terminated its own compensation system.

The Ministry of the Interior is currently preparing an amendment to the law to exclude voluntary emission compensation services from the scope of the fundraising law. In the future, therefore, voluntary emission compensation activities would not require a fundraising permit.

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