Ton-year accounting w/ Carbon Direct

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Do short-term carbon offsets have value? How should their value be calculated for buyers?

Last month, the research non-profit CarbonPlan released an analysis of ton-year accounting of carbon offsets. The report examined how ton year accounting works, its limitations, and how it might be improved.

The CarbonPlan authors also released a critique of the method used by NCX, an offset seller. NCX issued a response post, and the back-and-forth was a visible surfacing of some of the main issues within offset markets.

On March 2nd, NCX announced a $50 million fundraising round from investors including JP Morgan and Marc Benioff, indicating that the uncertainty about offset calculations isn’t dampening the enthusiastic corporate interest in voluntary markets.

As net-zero plans have proliferated in the last year, the demand for voluntary offsets has grown, as has predicted future demand. However, while corporations and governments pledge to remove CO2 to fulfill their climate commitments, climate economists continue to debate some of the most fundamental elements of measuring offset emissions.

Earlier this week, Bodie Cabiyo joined his Carbon Direct colleague Alex Dolginow in penning a thorough blog post titled “Accounting for Short-Term Durability in Carbon Offsetting”.

In this episode Bodie and his Carbon Direct colleague John Dees joined host Radhika Moolgavkar to discuss ton-year accounting, the challenges of measuring short-term durability in offsets, and the current research into alternatives.

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