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Chinese state energy giants have emerged as major buyers of the so-called “carbon neutral LNG” which uses carbon offsets to greenwash imports of the fuel, Greenpeace said in a report on Monday.
At the same time, oil and gas companies are not making progress in actual emissions reduction, the environmental campaign group said.
“Even as carbon offsetting faces a crisis of confidence at the global level, the industry is setting up shop in China,” said Li Jiatong, Greenpeace East Asia Beijing-based project leader.
“For oil and gas companies in particular, carbon offsets are a smoke screen to obscure their continued, redoubled carbon emissions. And China is emerging as a major marketplace for such credits. So, we’re ringing the alarm in China,” Li added.
According to Greenpeace’s analysis, 85% of all “carbon neutral LNG” cargoes have been sold to buyers in Asia. Moreover, China-based forestry carbon offset projects account for almost one in four Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) projects certified by Verra globally, the campaigners have found.
The major market for “carbon neutral LNG” in China – with CNOOC and PetroChina having already signed such long-term supply deals – and oil and gas companies’ increased marketing of carbon offsets “comes at a time when these companies are either walking back previous climate commitments or remain wholly uncommitted to take action on climate,” Greenpeace said, citing Shell, BP, and TotalEnergies as scaling back their climate commitments.
“Greenpeace East Asia demands that carbon offset credits not be used to count towards net zero or other decarbonization goals and that emissions reductions come primarily from shifting energy production away from fossil fuels to a business portfolio of renewable energy with a clear timeline and pathway,” the campaigners said.
Greenpeace has been warning for years that “Carbon offsetting is truly a scammer’s dream scheme.”
Earlier this year, Shell abandoned plans to invest $100 million annually in developing carbon sinks that would generate 120 million carbon credits annually from 2030.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.