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DRIVERS AND BENEFITS OF OFFSETTING

Understanding Business Leadership on Climate Action

More can be done to increase action on climate change and close the gap on the global goal of a two degree limit. There is a disconnect between where science says we need to be and how far the Paris Agreement will take us, and the voluntary carbon market is crucial in bridging that gap. 

This report considers the current demand for carbon offsetting, what drives businesses to use it as one of its solutions to climate change, and what the benefits are. 

Its findings were taken from responses to a survey developed by Imperial College London in consultation with the UNFCCC and ICROA, and conducted among respondents across a wide range of sectors, including private, public and non-profit / NGOs.

Putting it all together: recommendations

Based on the report's key findings, the following recommendations can be put forward to further promote the uptake of offsetting as a solution to bridge the ambition gap on the global goal of a 2°C limit:
  1. Carbon offset projects make a valuable contribution to the reduction of GHG emissions. Better recognition of this contribution would demonstrate the value to companies in meeting their climate goals and motivate more businesses to invest in voluntary offsetting. Additionally, this research shows that:
    • There is a positive correlation between knowledge of the voluntary carbon market and confidence in its effectiveness to reduce GHG emissions. A broader understanding of the market from the corporate world would help grow demand
    • Better awareness of the role of offsetting within the carbon management plans of climate leaders would also increase demand
  2. Offset buyers should measure their return from investing in voluntary carbon offset projects. 49% of respondents in this survey said they have experienced tangible benefits from voluntary offsetting, though in most cases these benefits are not being measured. Better data on these benefits would help build the case for companies to take voluntary action
  3. Demonstrating co-benefits, in addition to carbon mitigation, will increase the return on investment. In turn, this will increase the willingness to invest in voluntary offsetting
Download the report here.

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