Is carbon offsetting working?
Loss of forests creates more carbon emissions than the entire global transportation sector and accounts for nearly 11% of all emissions.
To help address this there is a UN Framework called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation - REDD+.
Given the scale of deforestation and the impact, it is critical that this works. REDD+ is all about incentives and offsetting carbon; for example, Shell invested $300million in forests in April 2019.
For carbon capture to be effective the trees involved must be kept for around 100 years – however, research has shown that within 4 years over 50% of the forests set up for carbon credits had lost their trees. There is also evidence that protecting a forest in one location just reduces another forest elsewhere. The answer for this has to be more effective monitoring, on a larger scale.
Monitoring the size and quality of the forests, across any country participating in REDD+ – would enable these critical programs to be effective.