In early 2023, the Guardian published an article suggesting that more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets are worthless. These credits are essentially a promise to protect forests and can be bought as a way to “offset” emissions elsewhere. Verra, the largest certifier of these offset credits, said the claims were “absolutely incorrect” but the story still shook confidence in the billion-dollar market. Soon after, Verra’s CEO stood down.
The claims in the Guardian article rested heavily on analysis which had been published as a preprint (before peer review). Now the research has been fully peer-reviewed and is published in the journal Science. It shows unequivocally that many projects which have sold what are known as REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation) credits have failed to reduce deforestation.
Read more: theconversation.com