Carbon Emissions: Offsetting

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:45 pm on 19 June 2007.

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Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming and Food), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming and Food), The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords 2:45, 19 June 2007

My Lords, the noble Earl is right: it ought to be clear. The reason behind the Question of the noble Lord, Lord Dixon-Smith, is that we want people to change their behaviour to start with. It is a hierarchy. Only when everything else has failed do you go for offsetting and purchasing offsets in this way; we want people to produce less carbon in the first place.

This goes beyond Europe—Europe is only a part of the planet—and the clean development mechanism, a UN arrangement arising out of Kyoto, has registered just fewer than 2,000 projects, of which 20 have been dismissed. So it has sorted through some that have not done what they claimed to have done. It is important that we should have some rigour in this matter.