Redd Carbon Credits Portal Examines London Olympics’ Carbon Credits U-Turn

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iNVEZZ (http://www.invezz.com), reported some of the criticism drawn by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games' (LOCOG) decision to change direction and reduce the number of carbon credits purchased to offset the Games’ carbon footprint, as well as the defence by the organisation’s spokesman.

UK’s premiere green economy media company, Dezz, today released an report on the London Olympics’ carbon credits policy available here. The website aims to educate businesses and individuals either investing in the carbon markets or offsetting their carbon footprint using carbon credits.

Carbon Credits Policy Change

The website reports the change of policy as described by Darren Johnson, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, as 'not fair'. The London Games had originally been planning, or had at least been reported as such, to offset the entire 3.4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions estimated at being the entire carbon footprint by using official UN endorsed carbon credits. Such carbon credits, the website explains, represent one ton of greenhouse gas emissions and are awarded to projects, usually in developing economies, validated by third-party accreditation, as reducing or preventing greenhouse gas emissions. The UN-backed policy allows emissions in the developed world to be offset by such projects as it is more effective, with more being achieved for the money. Projects must not be financially viable without the sale of these carbon credits awarded for their active emissions reduction benefits, thereby adding value as an ‘offset’.

LOCOG Defends Carbon Credits Switch

invezz.com goes on to detail LOCOG’s defence of their policy change, delivered by head of sustainability within the organisation, David Stubbs. Stubbs is quoted as saying that LOCOG had never promised that the London Games’ carbon neutrality pledge would be necessarily met by offsetting through carbon credits. He is reported as having said that LOCOG would instead be pursuing a policy of “promoting behavioural change” and “design to reduce or eliminate emissions at source”.

Stubbs' defence of the new policy was based upon the belief that the London Games' preferred a localised approach to benefits resulting from the Games. He is said to have expressed the organisations' belief that a weakness of offsetting via carbon credits was that the projects that generate them through offsetting greenhouse gas emissions are in developing economies and not the UK. This meant that financial and environmental benefits would predominantly go to the countries where the projects were based, and not the host of the Games.

Stubbs’ Justification of Carbon Credits Switch Criticised

REDD Carbon reports scepticism on LOCOG’s justification from various parties who have pointed to the fact that the change in approach was expected to save the organisers around £2.7 million. The website also points out that carbon offsetting is intrinsically a global issue which cannot be separated from locale to locale as all countries share the same world environment when it comes to the effect of greenhouse gas emissions. It makes the analogy with the lack of logic in banning smoking at one table in a restaurant while allowing it at another. The reason that the carbon credits system is set-up the way that it is, is for the very reason that it makes no difference where emissions are offset in the world, as long as they are. The point is the carbon footprint of the London Olympics is being made and in order to keep to promises made in the bidding process the most effective way to neutralise it must be chosen.

Not All Bad News For Carbon Credits

The website reports that LOCOG is retaining the purchase of carbon credits as one part of its offsetting strategy, and they will be used to offset the estimated 34,000 tons of emissions that will be caused by travel as a result of the Games. 34,000 carbon credits will be purchased between projects chosen in each of the continents represented at the London Games. http://www.invezz.com states that at least this means that there will be some benefit to carbon offset projects around the world despite the largely disappointing news of LOCOG’s change in policy over carbon credits.

About Dezz

Dezz is a UK-based boutique digital media company providing original and reliable up-to-date information in the area of green investments to large investment company decision makers, NGOs and to eco-minded individuals.

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John Adam
Dezz Ltd
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