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Oops, it happened again (to adapt a line from Britney Spears). Bloomberg reported more problems have befallen the already controversial Kariba carbon project, along with its developer and registrar:

“Carbon Green Investments [CGI], a company that owns and operates offset projects, says it’s removing the Kariba forestry project in Zimbabwe from Verra’s registry, effective immediately… CGI said it’s also withdrawing a second forestry project known as Chirisa.”

The article describes bad blood between CGI, Verra and South Pole, one of the world’s biggest sellers of carbon credits. Verra called CGI’s action “unprecedented in every sense” saying it has “engaged, in the most timely way possible, in a good-faith effort.”

But fear not – CGI’s projects aren’t dead (yet). The company “plans to register both projects with another platform known as the Greenhouse Gas program.” I spent time on Google looking for a carbon offset registry called “Greenhouse Gas program” and came up empty. What is the “Greenhouse Gas program” and how valid is it? Could this be the VCM equivalent of venue shopping? On one hand, the move could bring Kariba’s problems and controversy to the Greenhouse Gas program (whatever that is), dragging it down too. On the other hand, it could raise the profile and validity of the GGP if the project is ultimately deemed credible and viable by a credible, viable and independent third party. On the other other hand, maybe the “Greenhouse Gas program” is a sham. Or maybe it is simply a typo in Bloomberg‘s article (although I didn’t find a registry on Google with a similar name).

This soap opera – and its associated uncertainties – throws more gasoline on the fire of confusion and a lack of confidence in the VCM market as it stands now. It also comes on the heels of the U.S. announcing a formalized VCM, with CFTC to issue their guidance soon. Let’s hope the regulators carefully analyze the CGI/Verra/South Pole matter as U.S. policies are developed.

Our members can find more information about carbon offsets here.

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile