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Local Authorities: Carbon Emissions

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 29 April 2008, Official Report, column 314W, on local authorities: carbon emissions, if she will place in the Library a copy of the letter from January 2007; and whether local authorities may carbon offset using projects based in their local authority area. (252391)

I have been asked to reply, and can confirm that the letter in question will be placed in the Libraries of the House. On carbon offsetting, it is very difficult to ensure that UK-based carbon offset projects are truly additional—that is, that they result in real emission reductions that would not have happened anyway in the absence of carbon finance. For this reason the government's voluntary quality assurance scheme for carbon offsetting which was launched on 26 February 2009 will not cover projects based in the UK. Support for local emission reduction projects can be beneficial, but caution should be exercised in claiming those emission reductions as offsets to balance a carbon footprint.