UK is set to begin banning advertisements with green claims that rely heavily on carbon offsets16 May 2023
In an effort to reduce greenwashing, the UK is set to begin banning advertisements with green claims that rely heavily on offsets. Specifically, any claims of carbon neutrality, net zero, and similar terms will not be allowed unless the impacts from offsets can be proven.
This news comes as the use of offsets is becoming more scrutinized, often leading to claims of greenwashing. There are a wide variety of offset types on the market and their actual effectiveness can vary widely. To date there is little regulation in the market, which may change with more scrutiny.
Many companies are already beginning to shift away from an over reliance on offsets and being more careful about claims they make on their impacts – such a shift will now be a necessity for many UK-based companies.
There are a wide variety of offset types on the market and their effectiveness can vary. Many can be a useful and credible tool – by focusing on projects with clear additionality, carbon credits can still help corporations have a real impact. Companies should also begin a shift towards carbon removal offsets, which go further than avoidance offsets by capturing and storing carbon.
As always, the first and most important step towards carbon neutrality or net-zero should be reducing emissions. Carbon credits should then only be used to offset residual emissions that can’t yet be reduced – it’s now more important than ever to ensure that those offsets are credible. (The Guardian)Return to News