Carbon offsets are in renewed demand as corporates and other organisations set net zero targets and face up to the challenge of complete decarbonization. This applies to both voluntary and mandatory offsets.
Offsets took off mainly under the mandatory schemes, the EU ETS being the most advanced example. Voluntary offset markets are shaping up, with corporates tapping into it to meet their net zero targets, and according to the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (2021), “voluntary carbon offsets market worth could reach USD100 billion by 2030 vs USD300 million in 2018”.
A caveat is that there is no overarching governance system in place and corporates/traders are rushing to start trading without agreeing on how offsets fit in with effective climate action. Offset projects are incredibly diverse, covering different approaches to emissions reduction, avoidance and removal. Only a small fraction actually remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and past projects have often shown to be not fully additional.
Learn more about the role of offsets in race to zero with Olga Krylova, Oxford alumna/OxCAN Europe, who will moderate the session, and:
Dr Steve Smith, Oxford/Imperial alumnus and Executive Director, Oxford Net Zero; Deputy Director, CO2RE, co-author of The Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting
Owen Hewlett, University of Bristol alumnus and Chief Technical Officer at the Gold Standard Foundation
Eli Mitchell-Larson, Oxford/Yale alumnus and Scoping Team Lead, Carbon Removal Advocacy Europe
Lori Guetre, VP and Head of Business Development at Carbon Engineering Ltd.
Zhizhen Wang, Sustainability Programme Manager at Signify
Interventions will be followed by 15 min Q&A.