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Carbon offsetting approved by MPs

The Environmental Audit Committee has backed carbon offsetting - schemes where companies are paid to remove carbon from the atmosphere, compensating for carbon emissions.
The committee of MPs decided that companies and individuals should be encouraged and helped into carbon offset schemes because they concluded that it could help mitigate carbon emissions in the short-term.Typical schemes involve tree planting or the use of energy efficient products.However, they concluded that the offset market is not sufficiently transparent, and a few bad schemes have tainted the perception of the market.The Chairman of the Committee, Tim Yeo said, 'We are concerned that prospects for growth in carbon offsetting, and the accompanying benefits in terms of lower global emissions, are being held back by suspicions that a lack of regulation and transparency in the market is allowing some schemes to be promoted which do not achieve acceptable outcomes. This is a pity in view of the contribution offsetting can make to tackling climate change.'The UK has the opportunity to lead the world in developing robust and helpful guidance. An effective government code of practice which endorses meaningful offsets could assist people in choosing the best way to offset their emissions.'The UK's financial and carbon markets have much to gain from a rapid growth in what is increasingly seen as a vital component of commercial activity and corporate responsibility,' 'This is a pity in view of the contribution offsetting can make to tackling climate change,' he said.

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