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Cookstove carbon offsets overstate climate benefit by 1,000%, study finds

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

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🗞️ Driving the news: A new study in Nature Sustainability suggests that clean cookstove projects, popular in carbon-offset schemes, overstate their climate benefits by an average of 1,000%
These projects, aimed at replacing smoky fuels with cleaner alternatives, are intended to reduce household air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, but the study indicates they may not be as effective as claimed

🔭 The context: Cookstove projects are part of "nature-based solutions" to combat climate change and are included in the UN sustainable development goals
They have gained popularity in carbon markets, with a significant rise in issued credits
However, many of these projects reportedly fail to meet World Health Organization standards, and the study criticizes common rules for producing offsets, suggesting they allow for overstated benefits

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The effectiveness of carbon offset projects like clean cookstoves is crucial in the global fight against climate change
If these projects are over-crediting their benefits, it undermines trust in the carbon market and potentially hampers genuine climate mitigation efforts

⏭️ What's next: The study's findings call for a reform in the rules of producing carbon credits

💬 One quote: "Ensuring 'a tonne of emission reductions is actually a tonne' is critical if we are to reach the full potential of the cookstove carbon-market sector," (Ben Jeffreys, CEO of cookstove company ATEC)

📈 One stat: An estimated 3.2 million people die prematurely each year from household air pollution caused by cooking with smoky fuels

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