The Climate Group responds to proposed DEFRA offset standard

18 January 2007

The Climate Group notes with interest the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) proposed offset standard and code of practice. Offsets are part of the climate change solution and can play an important role in engaging the public and sectors not covered by regulation. However, it is pleasing to see that DEFRA has considered offsetting in context - as a third step in an emissions reduction strategy that starts with use of cleaner energy resources and greater efficiency.

The voluntary carbon market plays an important role stimulating investment in emissions reductions, offering low cost solutions, experimenting with new approaches that are different but equally as robust as Kyoto mechanisms and increasing business and consumer participation in the market. It is critical that those buying and using offsets in the voluntary market have confidence that what they are buying represents real, unique emission reductions.

For this reason we have been working with the International Emissions Trading Association and the World Economic Forum Global Greenhouse Gas Register on the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). The VCS is a robust global standard (recognised as such by the UK Government funded Carbon Trust) that will ensure that voluntary carbon units are real, measurable, permanent, additional, independently verified and not double counted. After nearly 18 months of work and public consultation we will launch the standard in May 2007.

For further information please contact:

Mark Kenber: Policy Director, +44 (0)1483 719 400, or

Josh Harris: Carbon Finance Programme Manager, +44 (0)1483 719 415,

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