... and receive personalised notifications on
new pluralistic content directly into your inbox!

Phantom Offsets and Carbon Deceit

Tin Fisher, Hannah Knuth, 2023
Level: beginner
Perspectives: Ecological Economics, Institutionalist Economics, Other
Topic: Business & Firm, Institutions, Governments & Policy, Resources, Environment & Climate
Format: Blog & Press

The investigative research conducted by the German weekly newspaper "Die Zeit" and the British Daily Newspaper "The Guardian" includes a research-based critique of carbon trading. It centers around Verra, a key actor in the carbon-offsetting industry, and uses insider knowledge and scientific evaluation conducted in this critical case to showcase that the promises of carbon-offsetting are false. In contrast, the research indicates that carbon-offsetting - especially in the field of forest protection - is not only futile with regard to climate protection, but might even have perverse effects. Beyond providing arguments for this general point, the story includes interesting details on the history and politics of carbon-offsetting and very valuable insights into an important actor in the carbon-offsetting field, which is not widely known to the public.

Comment from our editors:

The story is a fascinating read, which provides a thorough empirical base for criticising business self-regulation and market-based solutions to climate change, which is of crucial importance considering the continous rise of carbon emissions and the prominence of such measures among policy-makers and society at large. The story is perfectly suited for non-experts, but includes relevant insights for people more familiar to the topic and is thus advisable for almost everyone. The story contributes to making the case that system-immanent solutions to climate change are ultimately futile as the capitalist form of economic organisation is structurally bound to undermine nature and environment in its continuous quest for maximising profit.

Go to: Phantom Offsets and Carbon Deceit

This material has been suggested and edited by:


This project is brought to you by the Network for Pluralist Economics (Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik e.V.).  It is committed to diversity and independence and is dependent on donations from people like you. Regular or one-off donations would be greatly appreciated.