Carbon credits lack standards

12 Aug 2007Archived News Energetics in the News

PUBLISHED: Sunday Age - By Miki Perkins

 

AUSTRALIAN companies looking to buy carbon credits to offset their emissions face a fragmented market and wild price fluctuations , a study has found.

The market for voluntary carbon offsets is growing rapidly but quality assurance remains its biggest hurdle, the report from RMIT's Global Sustainability Unit said. It found issues of quality were a challenge for the industry, with standards based on differing ideologies and frameworks.

There were significant differences in the price charged per tonne of carbon dioxide, with bio-sequestration providers charging between $9 and $13 per tonne to offset while renewable energy providers charge between $20 and $40. Mandatory national standards are lacking in Australia, said report author Leonardo Ribon. "There is a need for "similarisation" of programs so that both buyers and sellers can be assured of what they're buying," he said.

A recent report from Sydney energy consultancy Energetics warned that companies could face a backlash if their claim of carbon neutrality were found wanting, and could face accusations from the public of "greenwashing" - window dressing to make companies look environmentally friendly.

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