Tuesday, June 13, 2023
The Compensate Foundation published its latest white paper "Non-offset claims: How to make a robust climate claim?" on June 8, 2023.
The white paper provides a clear distinction between non-offset claims and traditional carbon neutrality and net zero claims, outlining the benefits and limitations of each approach.
Non-offset claims encompass a range of climate actions beyond conventional offsetting, including contribution claims, beyond value chain mitigation (BVCM), climate finance, climate action, and insetting.
New climate claims are emerging
Non-offset claims are gaining traction as a way for companies to avoid greenwashing risks due to the dubious quality of traditional offsets. Other reasons explaining the growing interest in non-offset claims include avoiding double claiming and maximizing the measurable climate impact regardless of projects’ eligibility for conventional offsetting.
For instance, non-offset claims can be used to kickstart new markets and technologies or to help countries reach their ambitious climate targets. Non-offset claims, such as Beyond value chain mitigation, have also been recommended by the SBTi’s Net-Zero Standard.
The policy environment for making climate claims is also developing due to low transparency and trust in climate claims and the fear that carbon neutrality and net-zero claims of low integrity can actually delay deep emission cuts.
New claims should not compromise the integrity
The Compensate Foundation acknowledges the importance of innovative corporate climate action and supports efforts to meet global and national climate targets. However, we advise caution when adopting new claims. New claims are no silver bullet that would automatically fix the flaws in the market.
It is necessary to demand high integrity from non-offset claims, precisely as it is from conventional offset claims. Organizations should avoid repeating the mistakes and flaws in offsetting with new claims. They should set the bar high from the beginning.
A different claim should not compromise the quality or integrity of climate action. In fact, changing the paradigm from offsetting towards new claims, which might be under less scrutiny than current offset claims, may open the door for vague, unsubstantiated, and misleading climate claims. The white paper guides organizations to avoid such risks.
The Compensate Foundation is committed to fostering a deeper understanding of non-offset claims and their implications for the voluntary carbon market. By encouraging responsible practices and maintaining integrity, the Foundation aims to contribute to a sustainable and impactful climate action landscape.
Download the white paper