Disney caught up in carbon offsetting controversy

Disney avoids emission cuts by investing $15.5 million in carbon offsetting schemes criticised by campaigners, including projects soon to be banned in the EU


Disney admitted spending $15.5 million on carbon offsetting schemes

Disney – the media company behind Mickey Mouse and world famous theme parks – has become the latest in a long line of multinational organisations to finance carbon offsetting schemes, which campaign groups say fail to reduce climate change and instead create ways to avoid cutting emissions.

The company recently admitted to spending $15.5 million in carbon offsetting schemes, including forest protection, reforestation and the destruction of industrial gases.

Carbon offsetting involves paying into a project that prevents carbon emissions from somewhere else or removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere in order to compensate for your own emissions. The voluntary sector alone has ballooned in size over the past decade and was worth an estimated $387 million in 2009. There is also a bigger compliance sector, which allows countries to meet carbon emission reduction targets more easily by offsetting their emissions.

Voluntary offsetting has become increasingly popular with companies but critics say it allows them to continue as normal instead of trying to significantly reduce their emissions.

‘Companies should be doing all they can to reduce their carbon emissions through energy efficiency and adopting new processes. However, often the easiest thing to do is get a bit of green PR by buying offsets overseas and declaring themselves to be carbon neutral,’ says Mike Childs, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth.

Read the full story at the Ecologist

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