GAO Report Questions Value of Carbon-Offset Deals

Washington, DC (December 2, 2008)- The United States General Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that questioned the effectiveness of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by wealthy countries investing in clean-energy projects in poor nations. The European Union has utilized this offset strategy through the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) program and has found little success according to the report, Lessons Learned from the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme and the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

The report also found that the projects have given EU countries more flexibility to pollute and it is uncertain whether emissions have actually declined. “Some offset credits were awarded for projects that would have occurred even in the absence of the CDM, despite a rigorous screening process,” the report said.
Related Resources:
General Accountability Office
Reuters- Report questions value of carbon-offset deals