fb tracking

SBTi Offset Change Takes ‘Science’ Out of ‘Science Based’ Targets

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) on Tuesday rolled back its longstanding exclusion of carbon offsets as a means for corporations to satisfy their climate targets and commitments. This has been a crucial bulwark to protect against corporate greenwashing. In response to the roll back, the staff of SBTi has called for the ouster of the firm’s CEO and an immediate reversal of the plan, which will allow companies to use dubious carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions when purporting to account for emissions in their value chains. Numerous reports and investigations over decades have exposed carbon offsets as deeply unreliable and, in some cases, fraudulent. Clara Vondrich, senior policy counsel with Public Citizen’s Climate Program issued the following statement:

“The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) should strive to keep the ‘science’ in ‘science based.’ Carbon offsets have been exposed time and again as a delay tactic in the fight against climate change. What the world needs now is rapid decarbonization across transportation, power, industry, and agriculture—not carbon indulgences that companies snap up for a few dollars a ton. Without changing their core business, carbon-intensive companies will lead us to ruin. And carbon offsets are paving the way, by permitting companies to hide the true climate impacts of their businesses. 

“Science Based Targets Initiative has long been a model for the climate finance community due to its steadfast commitment that science—not politics—should be the guiding light for corporate sustainability pledges and climate targets.The policy before was clear: offsets cannot be used to greenwash emissions, at any stage in the value chain. That kind of clarity is desperately needed in this era of doublespeak and greenwash. The board of SBTi must quickly reverse this decision and work to rebuild the trust it has shaken.”   

The new SBTi policy can be found here: https://sciencebasedtargets.org/news/statement-from-the-sbti-board-of-trustees-on-use-of-environmental-attribute-certificates-including-but-not-limited-to-voluntary-carbon-markets-for-abatement-purposes-limited-to-scope-3

The Staff response can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/gvjkqr4k4cdtt57qit9s6/SBTi-Staff-Response-to-the-Board-of-Trustees-April-9-Statement.pdf?rlkey=o38yubknqezjqzim44wjtk5fb&dl=0