Grab’s ‘carbon neutral’ fares risk greenwashing: NGOs | News | Eco-business

The carbon credits Grab procures fund projects certified by Vera, a standards body that came under intense scrutiny last year over its methodology and the reliability of the credits it provides.

Grab buys carbon credits from the Katingan Mentaya project, a peatland forest conservation and restoration project in Central Kalimantan province, but Rimbawatch said the project has been criticised over its claims that it is effective in reducing emissions. Grab’s claim The project will prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 447 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over 60 years.

The additionality of the Katingan Mentaya project, i.e. its ability to reduce emissions that would not have been achieved without the project, is A 2021 Greenpeace investigationFollowing the Greenpeace findings, the report revealed that no emissions reductions had been made because the baseline calculations were based on forests that were already legally protected. Survey by Nikkei Asia.

Permian Global, the carbon finance company managing the project, Denied the allegations And he defended its impact on the climate.

Grab told Ecobusiness in a statement that its carbon projects have been “assessed and verified by multiple reputable carbon credit agencies and suppliers,” noting that Silvera and Vezero had rated the Catingan Mentaya project “AA” and “A” respectively.

The company added that carbon exchanges in Southeast Asia, including Bursa Malaysia’s Carbon Exchange and Singapore’s Temasek-backed Climate ImpactX, have listed the project.

A Grab spokesman told Ecobusiness that while there are currently no globally harmonised carbon market standards, the company does not intend to rule out carbon credits as a “legitimate financial instrument for long-term environmental conservation”.

“We will continue to hold our suppliers to high standards to ensure the projects we select support this intended outcome. We look forward to the industry continuing to discuss this topic and working constructively towards a low carbon future,” the spokesperson said.

Rimbawatch said it supported Grab’s commitment to reach net zero by 2040 and decarbonise its fleet of millions of vehicles, but that “the use of offsets… cannot be part of a credible net zero strategy”.

Grab’s offsetting initiative comes less than a year after rival Gojek launched its own offsetting service for customers and four months after news broke that Grab was developing plans to decarbonise.

Grab’s customer offset feature is not part of the company’s emissions offsetting efforts, which are focused on electrifying its vehicles and optimizing routes to reduce emissions, the spokesman added.

The company will follow the Science Based Targets initiative’s (SBTi) guidelines on carbon offsetting if it is unable to reduce emissions, but Grab said it is not purchasing carbon credits towards its carbon neutral target.

Grab pledged in 2022 to be carbon neutral by 2040, but the company said the promise was difficult to achieve due to a number of obstacles, including business growth projections and the development of renewable energy installations and electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Southeast Asia.

Rimbawatch said Grab should align itself with new international standards on offsets and consider abandoning them altogether, except where offsets are promoted solely as voluntary environmental contributions that do not impact Grab’s emissions inventory or climate action.

UN High-Level Expert Group on Corporate Net Zero Pledges stated In 2022, it warned that companies “should not buy cheap, often lacking in integrity, credits in exchange for immediately reducing their own emissions across their value chains.”

The group warns that carbon credits cannot contribute to emissions reductions towards reaching net-zero targets and can only be used after those targets are met.

The European Union recently banned s that use carbon offsets to claim that products are “carbon neutral.”

The latest controversy surrounding carbon offset projects emerged this month. report Investigators from the nonprofit organization Human Rights Watch claim that indigenous people in Cambodia are facing forced evictions and criminal prosecution after their ancestral lands were designated for carbon offset projects.

Rimbawatch noted that while companies such as oil giant Shell, low-cost airline easyJet and consumer goods giant Nestle have abandoned carbon offsetting altogether, those that continue to claim to be carbon neutral through offsets are facing legal action. $1 billion lawsuit against Delta Air Lines.

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