Report release: Chasing Carbon Unicorns

24 February 2020: Climate justice organisations today release a new report: Chasing Carbon Unicorns: The deception of carbon markets and “net zero”.

In the lead up to delayed COP26 climate talks in the UK, and as big polluters continue to expand fossil fuel exploitation, this report unpacks the science behind carbon offsetting and reveals how “net zero” pledges will never solve the climate crisis. 

The report is available in English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

Powerful actors are using “net zero” pledges to hide their climate inaction. Stopping the climate crisis requires us to stop burning fossil fuels – no magical thinking will solve this problem, just immediate action and system change. But transnational corporations and governments are hiding behind the “net” in “net zero” – claiming that they just need to pay someone else to remove carbon, through carbon offsetting, rather than taking action on their own.

This report unpacks the science behind “net zero” claims and how they are used to obscure climate inaction. It explores the new strategies to expand carbon offset markets, linked with new “net zero” demand for offsets. It also explains the roles played by various actors involved in the effort to “make offsetting great again”. These include less obvious players such as a few large mainstream conservation organisations, as well as the more obvious ones: the banks, the finance industry, and corporate interests behind maintaining the status quo of fossil fuel production and consumption.

Report published by Friends of the Earth International, La Via Campesina, Indigenous Environmental Network, Corporate Accountability, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, Third World Network, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Climate Justice Alliance and Justiça Ambiental.

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