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Former Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney and CEO of Standard Chartered Bill Winters launched a task force to bring order in the industry and start a discussion about its lack of quality checks and regulations.
FREMONT, CA: Last July, Shell, one of the world's major oil companies, struck a deal with PetroChina with an unrevealed quantity of liquefied natural gas, branded by the company as carbon neutral. Shell believes planting trees in Guizhou province will offset the emissions from burning these natural gases across China. This deal is only a small example of a trend taking over the fossil fuel industry, where organizations compensate for their emissions with relatively insignificant policies. Gilles Dufrasne of the non-profit Carbon Market Watch reiterated that Shells' latest attempt to make fossil fuel part of the transition to clean energy is absurd, as there are no 'carbon-neutral' fossil fuels. Similarly, British Airways reckons that its customers can fly carbon neutral by buying offsets from sellers in partnership with the airlines.
Nonetheless, offset usage is often unclear, as there are no requirements for buyers to share this information with authorities. Considering the system is voluntary and highly unregulated, unlike the compliance sector, such carbon offset policies are seldom efficient. Citing concerns over the integrity of the carbon offsetting schemes that are dominating global industries, many experts view offsets as a license to pollute.
Former Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, now a UN special envoy on climate action and finance, underscored that the current offset market is working in the shadows, generate some good but a lot of bad in the system. Carney, along with the CEO of Standard Chartered, Bill Winters, launched a task force to address the problems created by such offset schemes and spread awareness regarding the same across the globe. The new task force aims to transform the carbon offset sector from a disbelieved market into a legitimate institution that banks recognize. It aims to criticize the current rules regulating the market and request government bodies to enforce stronger policies.