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Carbon Clear has always championed transparency & measurable standards within the carbon offset industry. However, even after 12 months of consultation and deliberation we believe the Draft Code of Best Practice for Carbon Offset Providers issued by DEFRA raises as many questions as it answers.

One area of concern is the lack of definition over what a consumer is; the original draft code (Jan 2007) aimed to protect individuals and remove confusion in a fledgling industry, a move which we applaud. The code has now been extended to businesses in a way that we feel is completely inappropriate. We use an array of emissions factors to calculate and reduce a company’s carbon footprint prior to offsetting unavoidable emissions. Under the draft code we would have to pay an additional £2,000 every time we need to use a new emission factor not included in DEFRA’s current list. This cost could discourage many smaller businesses from participating in the carbon market and taking responsibility for their greenhouse gas emisions.

Furthermore, our experience is that bigger businesses and corporates want a mix of compliance-market CERs and beyond-compliance VERs and prefer to perform their own quality checks to find projects that meet their requirements. CER schemes can be slow, bureaucratic, expensive to administer and limited in variety. Existing quality standards like the highly respected Voluntary Gold Standard and Voluntary Carbon Standard address the need for verified reductions and allow more of the money to go towards projects that help poor communities around the world make the transition to a low carbon future. Thus, while we welcome the Government’s embrace of the quality principles we have long supported, we feel there is still a lot of work to be done before this draft code is fit for purpose.

Jamal Gore, Managing Director, Carbon Clear .

If you would like to speak to Jamal Gore or Mark Chadwick from Carbon Clear’s management team or require any further information please contact:

Zoe Porteous
Boutique Communications
T: 01273 699700/07971 217755
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Notes to editors:

Carbon Clear is the first full-service carbon management firm with ISO 14001 certification to be listed in the United Kingdom Register of Quality Assessed Companies, which includes entries for over 100,000 organisations. The ISO 14001 is a global environmental management standard. The Register includes companies both within and outside the UK.

About Carbon Clear (
Carbon Clear is a carbon management company that works with businesses and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint. In addition to advising on emission reductions Carbon Clear also invests in projects to cancel out the pollution that is generated by everyday activities such as driving, home and business energy usage, flying and even nappy use. Corporate customers include Eurostar, Innocent Drinks, and 3M.

All of the projects Carbon Clear invests in are selected based on both carbon reduction and a wider social benefit for the communities implementing them. A great deal of care is taken to ensure money is directed to activities that genuinely improve the environment and the lives of real people and all projects must meet the following criteria:
Our projects must make verifiable pollution reductions over and above their normal level. We follow the guidelines developed by the Clean Development Mechanism and Voluntary Carbon Standard.

Projects must provide additional, long-term benefits to the communities that undertake them; these range from better health and improved incomes to job creation and the protection of endangered plants and animals.

Projects must be efficient; funds should support the projects, and not be diverted to unnecessary bureaucratic overheads, waste or middlemen.

Carbon Clear is supporting a wide variety of emissions reduction projects that produce clear development benefits. These range from improved cookstoves in Sudan, to wind farms in India and energy efficient brick kilns in Nicaragua.

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