24 May 2011 12:05:07
Carbon offsetting quality scheme scrapped
The Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) for Carbon Offsetting is set to close at the end of this month.
From June 30th, the voluntary carbon market will be left to establish quality and regulation for itself, a move which is backed by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA).
In a letter, sent by the head of the Low Carbon Economy Unit at the Department of Energy and Climate Change to members of the QAS board, the department said: "The carbon market has moved on substantially since the introduction of the QAS and we now believe it is for the market to set best practice for carbon offsetting."
Edward Hanrahan, co-chair of ICROA, said those trading offsets still have a "number of robust, verified" standards in place, alongside the ICROA's own Code of Best Practice.
In its latest annual report, the QAS for Carbon Offsetting noted that between February 2009 and 2010 it dealt with 57 telephone and email queries outside of its assessments, nine assessments of offsets and five renewals.
Only a "few" breaches in quality mark usage were found.