IETA unveils new guidelines for companies on carbon credits


(Photo: Pixabay)

The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) has release new guidance for businesses looking to use carbon credits in their pursuit of climate goals. 

The annual European Climate Summit hosted by IETA served as the launchpad for the organization’s "Guidelines for High Integrity Use of Carbon Credits."

The new guidelines offer clear recommendations for companies on incorporating carbon credits into their climate strategies in a way that aligns with the Paris Agreement.

The document underscores the importance of establishing clear use cases for carbon credits within corporate strategies.

But it emphasizes that such use should always be complemented by internal efforts to directly reduce emissions across all relevant categories, while complying with near and long-term goals. 

Although the guidelines address these broader issues, they don’t deal with the specifics of setting net-zero roadmaps.

Andrea Abrahams, IETA’s managing director for voluntary carbon markets, highlights that 81% of the world’s largest companies do not have net-zero targets, according to data from Allied Offsets.

“IETA Guidelines serve as a strategic framework for companies to mobilize finance and incorporate carbon credits into their climate strategies. The private sector has a critical role to play, and we need to act now,” she said.

Latest modeling suggests a high probability of firms falling short of their near and long-term net-zero goals, potentially jeopardizing the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Carbon Growth Partners says, “World’s best companies are setting targets to meet a critical path to net-zero carbon emissions. IETA’s new guidelines for companies make it clear that the path involves reducing emissions and offsetting the remainder until they hit that target.”

“This clarity is much needed in an arena that has suffered from confusion for too long,” the carbon fund said.

IETA's announcement follows only a week after a similar, yet controversial statement made by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which announced its intention to offer clearer guidance on how companies can tackle their Scope 3 emissions using carbon credits.

The announcement garnered attention and sparked conflict within the organization, with staff members protesting the Board’s decision. The issue led to the SBTi Board of Trustees issuing a clarification to its original statement, affirming that "any use of EACs for Scope 3 will be informed by evidence."

However, both IETA's and the SBTI's announcements serve as clear signals of a growing recognition of the significance of carbon credits and the voluntary carbon market in achieving net zero.

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