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Carbon Offsetting

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage individuals to use carbon offsetting schemes. (110648)

Offsetting should be set in a hierarchy of actions. The most effective way to avoid and reduce emissions is by changing behaviour. When it is not possible to avoid or reduce emissions, consumers should consider offsetting. When carried out in this context, we support the use of offsets generated by robust and verifiable mechanisms bound by international regulation

On 18 January, DEFRA launched a consultation on a voluntary Code of Best Practice for the provision of carbon offsetting to customers. The purpose of this code is to provide clarity to customers and, thereby, confidence in a growing market.

The Government are leading by example in taking action on their own emissions, with all central Government ministerial and official air travel being captured under carbon offsetting schemes since April 2006. Around 30 Departments, agencies and bodies are participating in the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund.