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Politicians to regulate carbon offsetting?

Fiona Harvey wrote in the FT last week of how MPs are seeking to make airlines and other “carbon-intensive” businesses offer ways for customers to offset their environmental impact.

But earlier this year, the paper “uncovered numerous examples of companies selling at a high price offsets that were effectively worthless, as well as factories and carbon trading companies making large profits from selling cheaply acquired “carbon credits”, and has passed on its findings to the Office of Fair Trading.”

Tim Yeo, chairman of the environmental audit committee, called for better regulation of the market. He said: “We are concerned that the prospects for growth in carbon offsetting, and the accompanying benefits in terms of lower global emissions, are being held back by suspicions that a lack of regulation and transparency in the market is allowing some schemes to be promoted which do not achieve acceptable outcomes.”

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