10 February, 2023

Why offsets are not a viable alternative to cutting emissions


The steady increase in corporate and national net zero targets in recent years raises critically important questions as to what role, if any, offsets should play in achieving them, and indeed 2030 targets, and to what extent they are legitimate substitutes for direct emission reductions at source.

As we move further into the critical decade for climate action, and ever closer to 2050, the year that many countries and companies have set as their net zero emissions target, policymakers need to confront the fundamental shortcomings of offsets in achieving real emission reductions – notably from fossil fuel sources.

In this report we set out an assessment the state of global science around offsets, and, in light of that, examine the impact of the Australian Government’s proposed changes for the country’s industrial emitters.