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Carbon offsets - how do they work, and who sets the rules?

Carbon offsets are when a polluting company buys a carbon credit to make up for the greenhouse gas it has emitted. The money should be used to fund action somewhere in the world that removes the same amount of carbon out of the air, or to prevent carbon emissions.

Detractors say that offsetting is ‘greenwash’, allowing companies to avoid cutting their emissions while still being able to claim they are, or will be, carbon neutral.

Proponents say offsetting, if done properly, can help channel funds to conservation and sustainable development projects that will reduce emissions, giving companies time to work towards zero emissions.

On this podcast, we hear from Rachel Kyte, co-chair of the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative which is building a rulebook that aims to ensure offsetting does what it claims to do.

And we hear from Dharsono Hartono, CEO of Rimba Makmur Utama, an Indonesian company that manages the Katingan Mentaya Project, a forest in Borneo, Indonesia, that generates carbon credits.

Forests for Climate report: www.weforum.org/forests-for-climate


Written and presented by Robin Pomeroy.
Editing: Jere Johansson.
Studio production: Gareth Nolan.

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Podcast transcript

Hosted by:
Dharsono Hartono

Chief Executive Officer, Rimba Makmur Utama

Rachel Kyte

Visiting Professor of Practice, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

Robin Pomeroy

Podcast Editor, World Economic Forum

Climate Action

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