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MPs push for standard CO2-offsetting

Date: 01 August 2007   |   Author: Tristan Young

Carbon offsetting report

A cross-party group of MPs has called on the Government to make it compulsory for high CO2 industries, believed to include the motor industry, to offer carbon-offsetting to customers.

The message is just one conclusion of many from a report by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee looking into the carbon offsetting market.

The report entitled 'The Voluntary Carbon Offset Market' also recommends Government incentives are put in place.

However, the SMMT said it believed "mandatory carbon off-setting may not be appropriate for every business in the automotive sector".

The report describes carbon offsetting - dismissed by some green-lobby groups - as "increasingly seen as a vital component of commercial activity and corporate responsibility" and called for the market to be regulated by "an independent, authoritative body to vet and quality-mark those providing offsets".

Without a governing body the carbon offsetting industry was likely to be tainted by a few rogue companies, according to the report.

The report also looked at why people and businesses use carbon offsetting and whether it changed their approach to the environment as a whole.

"There is at the moment very little evidence as to the effect of offsets upon the behaviour of those who purchase them. While it might be the case that offsetting beneficially exposes those who participate in it to a greater understanding of the challenge which climate change poses, it is clearly important that thorough and independent research be conducted into this area as a matter of priority," the report stated.