Offsets

On September 13, 2023, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1305 (AB 1305), which imposes wide-ranging disclosure requirements on (1) entities that market or sell voluntary carbon offsets and (2) entities that purchase and rely on these offsets to advertise their climate goals.  The bill has been enrolled and is currently on Governor Newsom’s desk.

AB 1305 comes on the heels of escalating criticism of voluntary carbon offsets, including arguments that corporations use low-quality offsets to engage in greenwashing.  AB 1305 is likely to prompt companies to engage in careful due diligence before making climate-related claims and to ensure that they rely on high-quality offsets that correspond to real emission reductions or removals.

Continue Reading Law Enacted by California Legislature Would Require Companies to Disclose Key Details About Voluntary Carbon Offsets and Claims Made in Reliance Upon Them

The European Union (“EU”) is coming closer to adopting mandatory rules for companies that use carbon credits.

  • First, the European Parliament and Council are considering for adoption a Commission for a Regulation on a Carbon Removal Certification Framework (“CRCF Regulation Proposal”).

These two regulatory initiatives are closely tied to each other.  In effect, the draft ESRS that the Commission is considering for adoption require subject entities to disclose GHG removals and GHG mitigation projects financed through carbon credits.

The EU’s aim of regulating carbon credits coincides with its push for carbon neutrality by 2050, and a related significant proliferation of companies publicly committing to achieve “net-zero” emissions by mid-century, which has triggered an uptick in strategic purchases of carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market (“VCM”). The CRCF Regulation Proposal and the upcoming ESRS will help to expand sustainable and verified carbon removals and encourage investment in technological innovation.   

Companies turning to the VCM to reach their net zero goals, and others active in the generation, trading, and use of carbon credits, will want to follow these initiatives closely.  Opportunities remain for companies to express views that may shape the final contours of these regulations.

Continue Reading The EU’s Emerging Mandatory Disclosure and Certification Rules for Carbon Credits