A carbon credit is a paid for allowance for a set amount of carbon emissions or another greenhouse gas equivalent. Therefore, a business that buys a carbon credit will be allowed to release emissions into the atmosphere, but only to the limit set by their carbon credit. Usually, one credit allows one tonne of carbon, or CO2e, to be emitted.

44% of businesses believe that the credits
are a form of greenwashing

Conservation International and We Mean Business Coalition have carried out a survey of over 500 global businesses to understand which factors they are prioritising as they reduce their emissions.

All of the businesses surveyed stated that they are working towards reducing their emissions, and 92% believe that decarbonisation is a priority. In regards to carbon credits, 89% of those surveyed believe that carbon credits will be important for decarbonisation plans, and 51% claimed that they would use carbon credits to help them to reduce their emissions in the long term, whilst they confronted their environmental impact and the impacts of climate change.

There are concerns, however, regarding carbon credits as 44% believe that the credits are a form of greenwashing as emissions are still being emitted, and 38% are worried that there is a lack of regulation and transparency regarding the carbon credit market. The quality of the carbon credits is also being questioned as 33% of those surveyed have concerns.