John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, presented a carbon offset scheme last month that would let businesses support renewable energy initiatives in developing nations that are having difficulty switching from fossil fuels. The Energy Transition Accelerator program, which will be completed over the next year, collaborates with charitable organizations, including the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund.
The strategy will establish a new class of carbon offsets representing investments that advance renewable energy initiatives or increase a developing nation’s capacity to withstand the effects of climate change. Businesses can purchase these offsets to offset a percentage of their CO2 emissions, and the money will support these initiatives. According to one school of thought, the idea may direct billions of dollars from the private sector toward developing nations’ economies as they switch to renewable energy sources like wind or solar.
Voluntary carbon offset programs have drawn a lot of flak for being loosely regulated schemes that let businesses and governments undermine net-zero emission goals. According to the State Department, Chile and Nigeria are two developing nations interested in the program. Bank of America, Microsoft, PepsiCo, and Standard Chartered Bank have also shown interest in providing input on the ETA’s development. Reports have revealed, for instance, that land managers in particular forests where offsets were purchased are not altering their harvesting operations and that some stands of timber that were allegedly “saved” had previously been maintained and weren’t going to be cut anyhow.
According to a draught of the plan, companies that want to participate in the new program must agree to attain net-zero emissions by 2050 and submit annual reports on emissions and advancement toward the goal. Companies that use fossil fuels are likewise prohibited from participating in the program. However, several significant environmental organizations have stated they do not support the proposal because they feel it is vague and would ultimately work against efforts to cut global emissions. Kerry announced during the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt. The conference has included discussions about allocating funds to assist developing countries in repairing losses and damage brought on by climate change.