[holding answer 14 March 2007]: DEFRA does not collect information on the voluntary carbon offsetting market and has not made any estimate.
The Department has published a consultation paper aimed at establishing a voluntary Code of Best Practice for the provision of carbon offsetting to UK customers. The consultation will finish on 13 April 2007 and the intention is to have the code operating by autumn 2007.
We will report on the code's uptake once it has come into operation.
The Department has not commissioned, nor supported any research on the effect of introducing iron sulphate in the ocean to increase phytoplankton activity and absorb quantities of carbon dioxide.
The Department recognises that, although there may be value in investigating some engineering solutions to combat climate change, there are concerns about their ancillary effects on the environment, the practicalities and the costs of such solutions. The Department’s key priority remains finding ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to a level that will prevent dangerous climate change, as well as the need for national and international action.