Chevron has created a large set of carbon offsets and they appear worthless, says research

Chevron has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030 through a carbon offset scheme. It is notable, that Chevron sells a product which is totally incompatible with carbon zero emissions.

This new research suggests that their carbon offsets are worthless, and therefore the emissions of Chevron will not change at all.

Corporate Accountability, a non-profit which did the research, found that 93% of the offsets that Chevron bought and counted are so environmentally problematic as to be worthless.

A carbon offset scheme is considered worthless, if its linked to a forest or plantation (or green energy project that does not lead to additional carbon capture. In other words, it is great to pay countries to keep their forests standing, indeed this is essential, not one new tonne of carbon is pulled out of the air by protecting the forest, so the carbon Chevron releases has not been removed from the air.

This is for a simple reason – it is not capturing new emissions. It is fantastic to not cause new emissions, but stopping new emissions is not the same as catching carbon to offset emissions that you are creating.

How did Chevron think this was acceptable.

Carbon offset is very simple: if I emit 1 million tonnes of carbon, and then pay to replant a rainforest in Tanzania that can take 1 million tonnes out of the atmosphere, this carbon remains locked as long as the rainforest continues to stand. Another idea would be to capture 1 million tonnes of carbon and bury it deep in the earth, to lock it away for millions of year.

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