Carbon offset market comes of age

The voluntary market for carbon offsets is attracting increasing attention, with a growing number of companies using it to engage consumers. So far, rumbles of discontent from environmental groups over the credibility of offsets - particularly those relying on forestry projects - have made little impact on companies' enthusiasm for the approach. But as the market grows, so do the risks of harm to credibility. Offset suppliers are finding it difficult to demonstrate that schemes would not have gone ahead without their funding. Another challenge for the voluntary market is the availability of officially certified - and cheaper - credits under the EU emissions trading scheme and Kyoto Protocol.

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