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NGOs voice support for recent SBTi decision

Six environmental NGOs have expressed support for the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in its plans to allow greater use of carbon offsetting, provided stringent conditions are met to ensure the efficacy of these credits.

NGOs voice support for recent SBTi decision_Top view of six tree seedlings growing in a forest_visual 1Top view of six tree seedlings growing in a forest. AI generated picture.

The SBTi announced in April its intention to update its guidance on using environmental attribute certificates, including carbon credits, to help businesses meet climate goals, particularly concerning Scope 3 emissions. The update is expected to ease current restrictions, which limit companies to offsetting only 10% of their absolute emissions. 

Read more: The Science Based Targets initiative and carbon offsetting: striking the right balance

The initial announcement sparked intense debate, including dissent within the SBTi itself. Critics worry that easing the guidelines might undermine the need for deep decarbonisation based on scientific evidence.

While major NGOs like WWF and Greenpeace have opposed loosening offsetting rules, six other NGOs, including UK-based Fauna & Flora and five US-based organisations, namely WCS, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the American Forest Foundation, have endorsed the move under certain conditions. They argue that businesses must use all available tools to accelerate climate progress and highlight that high-quality nature-based credits can provide significant co-benefits to biodiversity and sustainable development, especially in low-income nations.

Read more: West African countries push for carbon offset inclusion in environmental strategies

These NGOs stipulate that only high-quality credits, as defined by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market, should be used. Companies must also focus on directly reducing operational and value chain emissions, ensure near-term climate benefits from offsetting Scope 3 emissions, and gradually reduce reliance on credits as technology improves.

Read more: Era of revolution: groundbreaking carbon market development

Additionally, they emphasise the need for close coordination with the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative (VCMI) and the promotion of beyond-value chain mitigation, where businesses finance environmental projects without claiming the resulting credits towards their targets.

The SBTi’s inclusion of Scope 3 emissions marks a significant evolution in carbon markets, enabling a broader approach to carbon neutrality. By addressing entire value chain emissions, this shift enhances the effectiveness of carbon market mechanisms. DGB Group leads in offering high-integrity carbon units tailored to these new standards, providing tools like our carbon footprint calculator to help businesses meet stringent Scope 3 criteria. Investing in DGB's verified, nature-based projects allows companies to compensate for their value chain emissions while contributing to global environmental preservation, ensuring compliance with the latest carbon market regulations.

Explore the transformative power of our nature-based carbon units

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