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Biggest carbon credit certifier to replace its rainforest offsets scheme


The world’s leading carbon credit certifier – used by Disney, Shell, Gucci and other big corporations for climate claims – has said it will phase out and replace its rainforest offsets programme by mid-2025 after a Guardian investigation found it was flawed.

Verra, the main guarantee of credibility for the rapidly growing $2bn (£1.6bn) voluntary offsets market, has committed to scrapping its rainforest protection programme by July 2025 and introducing new rules, which it is developing. A senior Verra figure said this week it was time to move on from the current system.

In January, a nine-month investigation by the Guardian, the German weekly Die Zeit and SourceMaterial found widespread problems with the system. Analysis of a significant proportion of Verra projects indicated more than 90% of its rainforest offset credits do not represent genuine carbon reductions. Human rights issues are a serious concern in at least one of the offsetting projects co-run by the NGO Conservation International and the Peruvian governments, with evidence people had been forced from their homes.

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