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Carbon offsetters get kitemark system

Every time Greenbang sees a story about Hillary Benn, she imagines him going into a fancy dress shop in bowler hat and suit, changing his costume and having crazy adventures. But that’s by the by – Mr Benn has been up to more important things, announcing this week a code for voluntary carbon offsetting companies.

Soon any folk using Kyoto-approved carbon credits can get a stamp of approval from the government — so buyers know that when they buy a one tonne offset, that’s the amount they’ve actually offset — with a code of practice on the way.

Treat yourself to some more details, courtesy of Defra:

The principles that will need to be addressed by an industry standard are:
• additionality, meaning that the carbon savings must be in addition to reductions that would be made anyway;
• avoiding carbon leakage, or emissions avoided on one site simply being moved somewhere else;
• permanence, ensuring that emissions reductions were not simply put off until later;
• verification systems for emissions reductions;
• transparency on the methodologies and procedures used; and
• avoiding double counting, ensuring that emissions counted in an offset product are not counted elsewhere, for example as savings through an emissions trading scheme.
Once an industry consensus has been reached on a standard for voluntary credits and it has been fully operational for six months, the Government has asked that an independent audit is carried out.
The Government has appointed AEA to become the accreditation body for the Code, and they will today issue the final draft of the Code for industry comment on accreditation procedures. The quality mark associated with the work is currently being developed, and will be ready to be used when the first products are accredited later this year.

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