Carbon Offsetting and Communities: co-developing alternative place-based voluntary offsets in Scotland (£19,860)

Project: Research

Project Details

Description

Voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) offer a means of offsetting carbon emissions, by funding projects that deliver equivalent carbon emissions reductions elsewhere. These are commonly natural capital “removal” offsets that sequester carbon, such as afforestation or peatland restoration project.

The sector is growing very quickly and the recent adoption of Article 6 at COP26 delivered a rulebook for carbon offsetting, which is likely to further accelerate this marketplace. Scotland has already seen major natural capital investments led by institutional investors, corporations and charitable trust, who are often referred to – albeit controversially - as “Green Lairds”. High profile examples include investments from BrewDog, Shell and Aviva. Despite its growing popularity, it is unclear whether VCM projects have provided Scottish communities with much direct benefit or control.

To address this, this Scottish Universities Insight Institute funded project will deliver a series of events between researchers and practitioners that explore how VCMs are impacting Scottish communities and how they could be re-designed to maximize place-based, community benefits. The project will improve our understanding of the:

1. Distribution, scale and nature of current natural capital VCMs in Scotland;
2. Impact natural capital VCMs are having on communities;
3. Alternative VCM designs to deliver place-based community benefit and social justice;
4. Routes to co-develop and implement new VCMs in partnership with communities; and
5. Policy, legal and market conditions necessary for their adoption.

The project aims to initiate an informed, evidence-based national discussion about how best to design and implement carbon offsets, in a way that supports a net-zero, Just Transition.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/09/221/04/23

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