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We note the Guardian’s recent article criticising forest-protection (REDD+) carbon credits with concern. We encourage scrutiny of the market and the challenging of assumptions. However, we stand by Verra‘s response to this article.

REDD+ baselines are the subject of hugely complicated scientific debate – different scientists can interpret the same forest area in many different ways. And deforestation is incredibly hard to predict, it varies substantially from one area to another, and so each project needs to be looked at individually, which this research doesn’t do.

These technical debates are unhelpful for a market which continues to develop new and improved methods and tools to improve the way in which nature-based carbon credits are measured, verified and reported on. The voluntary carbon market is in the process of increasing standardisation and semi-regulation. We hope that the The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM)‘s Core Carbon Principals can put to bed debates about what ‘quality’ should look like. We also welcome the independent scrutiny from new carbon ratings agencies.

Deforestation is responsible for up to 15% of global GHG emissions. There is no pathway to 1.5 degrees unless it is addressed. Rewarding communities, landowners and governments for halting it is one of the best tools we have. We subject all the projects we onboard to additional due diligence beyond the certification and remain committed to supporting high quality forest conservation projects.

For further recommended reading, other useful responses on the science have been issued by Everland and Sylvera