While the teen environmentalist sat in the back of the room, she tweeted earlier in the day that the fossil fuel industry & banks, which she called the "biggest climate villains," were "here in Glasgow trying to scale up offsetting & give polluters a free pass to keep polluting."
"Polluting profiteers see offsetting as their “get out of jail for free card” in the climate game. But offsetting is often a dangerous climate lie," she added.
It is time to take down the Taskforce on Corporate Scams.— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) November 3, 2021
Polluting profiteers see offsetting as their “get out of jail for free card” in the climate game.
But offsetting is often a dangerous climate lie.
As an example of Greta's actually valid point on carbon credits, in August, French energy giant TotalEnergies SE orchestrated a "carbon-neutral" liquified natural gas shipment with China National Offshore Oil Corp (Cnooc) last September. The math behind the carbon-neutral fuel "involved googling and guesswork," according to Bloomberg.
An insider who spoke with Bloomberg said junior traders at Total learned about carbon-neutral cargoes from a client who had already purchased two from Royal Dutch Shell Plc. They said the inexperienced traders were able to figure out how to neutralize the emissions of LNG through internet searches of green projects they could fund.
The traders were able to find a project thousands of miles away in Zimbabwe that allowed them to fund a carbon-neutral deal that allocated money to brush clearing to reduce wildfires. Bloomberg called the deal "complicated new math." There was limited evidence to support how Total's brush clearing in southern Africa would offset natural gas carbon emissions.
But to make it work, Total's pioneers of carbon neutrality first needed to find green projects capable of meeting two requirements: generate carbon credits backed by an international organization, without costing too much. After struggling to come up with an answer, the team set up a meeting with South Pole, a project developer based in Zurich that came recommended by rival traders. That's how $600,000 from a $17 million LNG transaction ended up, in part, paying for forest protection in Zimbabwe.
Yet, while Greta may be on to something when it comes to carbon offsets, she still hasn't heard of - or is willfully ignoring - China, the world's #1 polluter. A Twitter search of "China" on her timeline shows just five mentions all year, while she mentions "EU" over two-dozen times. Nothing about China bailing on COP26?
What's with the disconnect here? Shouldn't she be spending most of her energy on the #1 polluter instead of this green guilt trip on the west?
As we noted in May, China's 2019 greenhouse gas emissions exceeded those of the United States and the rest of the developed world combined.
According to the study co-authored by a former Obama admin climate policy official, energy modelers and emissions experts (just go with it), China is now responsible for 27% of total global emissions - more than the combined total produced by the United States (11%), India (6.6%) and the 27 EU member nations together (6.4%).
Apparently childhoods are only ruined when the west does it.