Climate change Finnwatch: Emission compensation services have serious shortcomings – “Compensation produces emissions that have very harmful effects”

According to Finnwatch, the problems of projects implemented in Finland are related to the quality of climate impacts, and in many other countries to human rights.

In Finland There are serious shortcomings in the existing services that provide compensation for greenhouse gas emissions, says a Finnish report published on Wednesday.

Finnwatch, a non-governmental organization that studies the effects of business operations, examined the quality of 29 services in its report Anekauppa or climate action. The organization found improvements in each of the services reviewed.

“According to an old saying, everything that shines is not gold. Similarly, not all climate-friendly activities are eligible for compensation, ”says Finnwatch’s climate expert Lasse Leipola in the organization’s bulletin.

“This cannot be overemphasized, as the compensation used produces emissions that have very detrimental and long-lasting effects on the climate system.”

Report For this purpose, Finnwatch collected data on the use of offsets from 40 companies that offset climate emissions by a total of about 400,000 tonnes per year.

According to Finnwatch, the compensation market is expected to grow significantly in the future, up to 15 times larger than at present. Demand is boosted by, among other things, the Corsia system in the aviation sector, in which airlines undertake to compensate for the increase in their emissions.

According to Leipola, the problems of the projects implemented in Finland are related to the quality of climate impacts.

Double counting is also described as a big problem, which in practice means that the climate benefit generated in one project is used twice, for example for both the company’s and the state’s climate goals.

Abroad According to Finnwatch, human rights risks are emphasized. Most of the compensation services used by Finnish companies utilized international certified projects.

“Compensation certifications do not require projects to have adequate control over their social impact,” says Leipola.

In its report, Finnwatch cites as an example the effects of one compensation project in the state of Sikkim in northeastern India. Locals interviewed said the project led to the drying up of an important river bed, caused erosion and produced few benefits.

According to the report, the current certificates do not work properly to guarantee the quality effects either.

Finnwatch calls for regulatory oversight and guidance on consumer marketing as a solution. According to Finnwatch, the Corporate Responsibility Act currently being prepared by the European Commission is also necessary.

The organization also stresses that the use of compensation should always be combined with other climate measures.

“First, emissions are reduced as much as possible and a plan is made to reduce the rest of the emissions, after which the rest can be offset,” Leipola describes.

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