JP Morgan buys offset pioneer Climate Care

Global investment bank JPMorgan announced on Wednesday that it is to acquire Oxford-based carbon offset provider Climate Care

The move signals growing confidence in carbon offsetting despite the criticisms it has faced in recent years. In April, ENDS is to release a detailed guide to choosing quality carbon offsets and offset providers. Copies will be circulated free with the next issue of the ENDS Report.

Climate Care was formed in 1997 as the Carbon Storage Trust by Mike Mason. It was initially a not-for-profit business focused on carbon sequestration through forestry projects (ENDS Report 277, pp 30-31). It boasted input from WWF, Forum for the Future and the environmentalist Sir Crispin Tickell.

Nevertheless, one of its first schemes was to provide Tesco with “carbon credits” which were given away free with low-benzene petrol.

The Climate Care brand appeared in 1998 and the firm moved on from forestry to energy efficiency and other carbon emission reduction schemes. These include subsidising wind energy generation in China and fuel-efficient stoves in Cambodia and Uganda.

With an increasing international business focus on managing climate impacts, emissions trading schemes and the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, the carbon offsets market has become big business.

Mr Mason said: “After building up this business for over a decade, becoming part of JP Morgan is exactly what Climate Care needs in order to grow rapidly and achieve its goal of having the biggest impact possible in tackling climate change.”

Head of Commodities at JP Morgan Blythe Masters said that the acquisition would allow the company to offer the best quality of advice and services in the carbon emissions market: “A big challenge needs a big approach.”

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