Greenpeace calling for end to carbon offsets amid 'climate emergency'

 Greenpeace calling for end to carbon offsets amid 'climate emergency'
© Greenpeace

Greenpeace Executive Director Jennifer Morgan is calling for the end to carbon offsets amid a "climate emergency," Reuters reported.

"There's no time for offsets. We are in a climate emergency, and we need phasing out of fossil fuels," Morgan said at a Reuters Impact conference on Wednesday. 

Carbon offsets are allowing polluting companies to offset their carbon emissions by purchasing credits from projects that reduce or avoid the release of carbon dioxide from mass tree plantings or solar power farms, according to Reuters. 

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Environmental activists have argued this process allows companies to put off cutting their emissions rates and avoid divesting from hydrocarbons.  

Hydrocarbons are a primary source of greenhouse gases that cause global warming, Reuters reported. 

"These offsetting schemes ... are pure 'greenwash' so that the companies, oil companies, can continue to do what they've been doing and make a profit," Morgan said. 

United Nations delegates next month are expected to work on creating a market to channel money into offset and emissions removal projects to reach the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

Greenpeace’s latest warning is a crucial moment for the voluntary carbon market, which proponents have acknowledged needs to be more transparent and accountable, Reuters noted.