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Offset markets: new approach could help save tropical forests by restoring faith in carbon credits

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on the University of Cambridge or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A new approach to valuing the carbon storage potential of natural habitats has been developed by scientists at the University of Cambridge 
• This method aims to restore faith in offset schemes and encourage investment in forest preservation, which is crucial for achieving net-zero goals

🔭 The context: Current valuation methods for forest conservation projects have faced heavy scrutiny, leading to a crisis of confidence in carbon markets
• This has hindered efforts to offset carbon footprints, mitigate climate change, and scale up investment in tropical forest conservation

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The new approach, termed ‘Permanent Additional Carbon Tonne' (PACT) accounting, provides a more reliable and transparent way of estimating the benefits of carbon stored due to forest conservation, encouraging the protection of tropical forests, which play a vital role in absorbing carbon dioxide, helping to reduce global warming

⏭️ What's next: The new method allows for direct comparison of different conservation projects and generates incentives for long-term forest protection
• It is expected to boost confidence in carbon markets and drive investment towards preserving tropical forests, contributing to global climate change mitigation efforts

💬 One quote: “Tropical forests are being cleared so quickly that if we don’t protect them now, we’re not going to make the vital progress we need towards net-zero. Buying carbon credits linked to their protection is one of the best ways to do this” (Dr. Tom Swinfield, University of Cambridge)

📈 One stat: Only 6% of carbon credits from voluntary REDD+ schemes result in preserved forests, highlighting the need for more reliable valuation methods

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