March 17, 2023

Is the Biggest Carbon Credit Certifier Replacing its Rainforest Offset Scheme?; Dutch Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fall 9% on Lower Natural Gas Use; Where is the Fast Fashion Backlash?

Is the Biggest Carbon Credit Certifier Replacing its Rainforest Offset Scheme?

A recent investigation by The Guardian, Die Zeit, and SourceMaterial indicated that more than 90% of rainforest offset credits on the Verra registry do not represent genuine carbon reductions.  According to the article by The Guardian, the world’s leading carbon credit certifier, Verra, used by Disney, Shell, Gucci and other big companies for climate claims - has said that it will phase out and replace its rainforest offsets programme by mid-2025, with the shift towards a new methodology to be released later in 2023.

Verra responded and clarified that they are not scrapping their REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) methodologies and that the update of their approach to REDD has been subject to consultation for many years. Verra further confirmed that existing REDD projects will use this update when data for their respective jurisdictions are available and approved. According to Verra, these decisions were made prior to the Guardian report, which Verra addressed separately in a statement published on 18 January.

Invert Insights:

Thorough ongoing scrutiny and questioning play a crucial role in enhancing methodologies and upholding market transparency, accountability, and integrity. Regarding projects, it is imperative to break them down to comprehend their precision and feasibility in terms of their overall positive or negative impact. REDD initiatives can decrease greenhouse gas emissions, protect biodiversity, and enhance the welfare of the communities they operate in by creating employment opportunities and bringing reconciliation by utilizing indigenous knowledge. Furthermore, raising funds to expand these projects and other carbon reduction initiatives is crucial to attaining global climate objectives.

Dutch Greenhouse Gas Emissions Fall 9% on Lower Natural Gas Use

The Netherlands’ greenhouse gas emissions were 9% lower in 2022 than in the previous years as the energy crisis drove down the use of natural gas in industry and buildings. Emissions in the euro zone's fifth-largest economy were 32% below their 1990 levels last year, while the government aims for a 55% cut by 2030. 

Invert Insights:

While the effects of war on the environment are catastrophic, the resulting energy crisis has created a proof point that dependence on non-renewable and non-clean energy sources comes with economic and financial risks. Investing in diversifying the energy mix and scaling renewable energy technologies can transform future financial liabilities into profitable assets, along with reductions in national greenhouse gas emissions.

Where is the Fast Fashion Backlash?

Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M), a Swedish clothing retailer, identified the trend of consumers preferring sustainable products as a "high" risk to its business. The movement could create reputational risks if H&M is not seen as a climate leader. However, H&M also sees an opportunity to attract more customers by providing a more sustainable offering. While the fast fashion industry has been criticized for promoting overconsumption, there is no clear evidence of a shift in shopping patterns, even among environmentally conscious generations. The rise of Shein, an e-commerce giant that largely exists online, is one of the biggest arguments against the idea that the fast fashion model is suffering. Resale is the only indication of anyone questioning  the quantity of clothing currently produced.

Invert Insights:

While some fast fashion brands are making efforts to reduce their environmental impact, their business model inherently promotes  overconsumption and increased waste. Despite growing concern about the industry's environmental impact, there is no notable change in consumption habits. Consumers are buying fast fashion items due to their affordability and widespread promotion across social media. As big brands develop a sustainability strategy and governments debate regulations, we, as consumers, can start taking proactive steps towards environmentally conscious consumption. Keep in touch with Invert education tips by following us in-app, or on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. 

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