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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance

Research co-authored by C-EENRG Fellows Professor Andreas Kontoleon and Dr Thales West on the efficacy of carbon offsets appears in a recent article in The Guardian. The research, published in a recent preprint and, earlier, in the 2020 PNAS article, shows that most forest-based carbon offset projects fail to reduce deforestation to the levels expected. Further work is needed to better define how deforestation baselines (and hence the volume of carbon credits sold) are determined.

Read more in the original publications:

West, T. A., Wunder, S., Sills, E. O., Börner, J., Rifai, S. W., Neidermeier, A. N., & Kontoleon, A. (2023). Action needed to make carbon offsets from tropical forest conservation work for climate change mitigation. arXiv preprint arXiv:2301.03354.

West, T. A., Börner, J., Sills, E. O., & Kontoleon, A. (2020). Overstated carbon emission reductions from voluntary REDD+ projects in the Brazilian Amazon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(39), 24188-24194.

Read The Guardian article: Revealed: more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets by biggest provider are worthless, analysis shows