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Carbon credit offset tree planting
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Database for Carbon Offset Reporting

This database is a collection of investigative stories about carbon credits. The full reporting guide and short version of the guide are also available.

Scroll left or right to view the full spreadsheet.

PublicationHeadlineBylineNotesSubject (usually quoting or paraphrasing the original)URL
El SurtidorParaguay’s carbon deal with Singapore beset by lobbying, lax rulesMaximiliano ManzoniSpanish and EnglishEnglish version:
Climate Home NewsFossil fuel firms seek UN carbon market cash for old gas plantsJo LoFossil fuel companies that built gas power plants more than a decade ago are hoping for rewards from a new carbon credit market
Inside Climate NewsCan Carbon Offsets Save a Fragile Band of Belize’s Tropical Rainforest?Nicholas KusnetzConservationists are racing to save what’s left of the largest tropical forest in Central America, as commercial farming and population growth threaten to cleave it in two.
The ConversationCarbon offsets bring new investment to Appalachia’s coal fields, but most Appalachians aren’t benefitingGabe SchwartzmanGabe SchwartzmanCentral Appalachia is home to the third-largest concentration of forest carbon offsets traded on the California carbon market. But while these projects bring new investments to Appalachia, most people in Appalachia are not benefiting.
Human Rights WatchCambodia: Carbon Offsetting Project Violates Indigenous Group’s RightsStaff​​​​A major carbon offsetting project in Cambodia shows that such initiatives can harm Indigenous people when communities’ effective participation and consent are not ensured.
Centro Latinoamericano de Investigación PeriodísticaEn un proyecto de bonos de carbono en bosques andinos colombianos todo parece estar bajo la nieblaNone givenSpanishAn obscure foundation, in association with the public university of Tolima, records multimillion-dollar sales of carbon credits in exchange for the alleged preservation that they do of a regional park and surrounding forests in the south of Tolima. Peasants who have lived in those territories for three generations, who are supposed beneficiaries of the project, found out about it late and by chance.
E&E NewsPersonal net zero? Gas utilities pitch offset plans.Jeffrey TomichThe programs aren’t eliminating emissions from natural gas. Instead, they’re tapping into a huge carbon offset market.
ReutersCan clean cookstoves ride out the carbon markets storm?Ben PaytonA multi-facted look at the future for clean cookstoves. Clean cooking projects accounted for around 15% of all carbon credits.
The WireThe Dubious Business of Trading Carbon and Its Stakes For India’s People and ForestsSushmitaTribal communities in the Araku Valley of Andhra Pradesh “signed away” their rights to carbon credits through a local NGO intermediary named the Naandi Foundation
Climate Home News“Shameful”: Shell uses carbon credits under investigation to meet climate targetsMatteo CivilliniThe oil and gas giant offset part of its emissions with over a million credits from Chinese projects suspended because of integrity concerns
SiftedUkraine’s farms get a boost from soil-based carbon creditsFreya PrattySoil credits offer farmers diversified income, but do the climate claims stack up?
Climate Home News Junk offset sellers push to enter new UN carbon marketMatteo CivilliniRenewable energy schemes make up four-fifths of Kyoto-era projects hoping to keep selling offsets under Article 6, sparking concerns over the credibility of the new market.
Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP)Delta Airlines once again bought carbon offsets from a troubled projectNone givenSpanish and EnglishAn indigenous reservation in the Colombian Amazon was included in two separate carbon market projects that were approved and have sold credits, in what may have constituted a case of double counting. The promoters of the newer project, which sold credits to the US airline, claim to have made the necessary corrections. However, situations like this undermine the credibility of that market in Colombia.
Climate Home NewsWitness bribing minister’s family own Congolese carbon credit companyJoe LoFamily members of a powerful government minister in the Democratic Republic of Congo accused of war crimes have set up a carbon offsets company in the country, sparking fears the company will get favourable government treatment.
MongabayForest carbon credits and the voluntary market: A solution or a distraction?John CannonIn-depth backgrounder. First of 5-part series
Climate Home NewsFirst ever Paris Agreement offsets face integrity questionsMatteo CivilliniAs Switzerland buys the first ever bilateral offsets, civil society’s analysis suggests the claimed emissions reductions from Thai buses would have happened anyway
alliancesud and FastenaktionNew electric buses in Bangkok – no substitute for climate protection in SwitzerlandDelia BernerA detailed study by Alliance Sud and Fastenaktion reveals that the investment in electric buses in Bangkok would have taken place by 2030 even without an offset programme.
The LeverInternal Doc Reveals Biden’s Troubling Climate Summit PlansRishika PardikarGovernment memo suggests the Biden administration is angering allies by undermining strict standards for a new global carbon market.
Earth Journalism Network, Rainforest Investigation Network and othersIt's a WashMultiple authorsA series of articles published by many publications.
Inside Climate News“Carbon Cowboys” Chasing Emissions Offsets in the Amazon Keep Forest-Dwelling Communities in the DarkSam Schramski and Cícero Pedrosa NetoIndigenous and traditional groups in the forest are rarely consulted about carbon credit projects they see as the latest gold rush on their lands, and question the community and climate benefits the projects promise.
WorkpointtodayUnmasking 'Phantom’ Carbon Credits in Thailand: A Genuine Answer to Climate Change or Chimera?Patchar DuangkladThai and EnglishEnglish version:
India SpendChopping Down Trees in India, Then Compensating for Them — But At Whose Cost?Tanvi DeshpandeIndia's Jharkhand state led the country in reversing deforestation from 2022 to 2023, but cases from two districts show that these supposedly sustainable tree plantations come at a cost to forest rights.
Source MaterialGet Out of Jail Free in the Philippines: How Plastics Offsetting is Giving Industry a License to PolluteJess Staufenberg, Tito John A. BurgonioHow plastics offsetting is giving industry a licence to pollute
BloombergCompanies Are Dropping Carbon Offsets, But Still Buying the Worst OnesNatasha White, Akshat Rathi and Demetrios PogkasPurchases of carbon offsets fell for the first time in at least a decade last year, according to an analysis of 260,000 publicly available transactions. (Includes note on methodology.)
SourceMaterial with Le Monde and The TelegraphScramble for AfricaNone givenInside carbon offsetting’s megadeal
MongabayU.N. carbon trading scheme holds promise and peril for tropical forestsSara SaxExamines the debate over inclusion of trade forestation credits under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
ReutersCan Brazil’s new carbon market turn tide on decades of exploiting indigenous peoples?Jennifer Ann Thomas"As companies and governments race to meet emissions offset targets, Brazil has the potential to be one of the largest global providers of carbon credits. That is, if the country manages to guarantee the integrity of its processes."
Bloomberg Green / SourceNew Plastics ‘Offsets’ Point to Next Frontier in Controversial Green ClaimsNatasha WhiteThe credits are based on the murky practice of burning plastic waste for fuel.
The Guardian BP and Spotify bought carbon credits at risk of link to forced Uyghur labour in ChinaPatrick Greenfield, Amy Hawkins and Manisha GangulyCredits sourced from carbon project that was centred on biomass power plant in Xinjiang, investigation finds
BBCKenya's Ogiek people being evicted for carbon credits - lawyersClaire MarshallKenya's government is illegally evicting hunter-gatherers from their ancestral lands to profit from carbon offsetting schemes, human rights lawyers say.
Energy MonitorAre forest-based carbon offsets worth saving?Nella Canales, Georgia SavvidouAfter countless media scandals surrounding the integrity of REDD+ carbon offsets, a new study says enough is enough, it is time to scrap the whole system – but can we afford to start again?
MongabayCritical questions remain as carbon credit deal in Sabah presses forwardJohn CannonDetails around a secretive “nature conservation agreement” signed in 2021 between a Singaporean company and the government of Sabah, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, remain elusive.
African ArgumentsDoubts grow over who’ll benefit from UAE carbon deal for fifth of ZimbabweCyril ZendaAn early look at a major bilateral deal.
Wall Street JournalHe Pioneered Carbon Offsets to Save Tropical Forests. Now the Market Is Collapsing.Phred DvorakMike Korchinsky used offset credits to funnel millions of dollars to conservation projects. Now he’s fighting a crisis of confidence in the industry.
BloombergAn Oil Giant Quietly Ditched the World’s Biggest Carbon Capture PlantNatasha White, Akshat Rathi, and Kevin CrowleyPaywallAn Oil Giant Quietly Ditched the World’s Biggest Carbon Capture Plant
Financial TimesScandal bares the problems of the Amazon carbon credit marketpaywall
The New YorkerThe Great Cash-for-Carbon HustleHeidi BlakeOffsetting has been hailed as a fix for runaway emissions and climate change—but the market’s largest firm sold millions of credits for carbon reductions that weren’t real.
Climate Home News and UnearthedExposed: carbon offsets linked to high forest loss still on saleMatteo CivilliniProject owners in Cambodia and Brazil are selling carbon offsets to Uber, Marathon and ArcelorMittal despite an uptick in deforestation
Down to EarthInvestigation: Indian voluntary carbon market may not benefit people, climateSunita Narain, Rohini Krishnamurthy, Trishant Dev, Avantika GoswamiA probe with the Centre for Science and Environment (DTE-CSE) into the carbon market and offsetting projects in 40 locations across India
Carbon BriefAnalysis: How some of the world’s largest companies rely on carbon offsets to ‘reach net-zero’Josh GabbatissMajority of offset projects that have sold the most carbon credits are ‘likely junk’, according to analysis by Corporate Accountability and the Guardian
The Guardian and Corporate AccountabilityRevealed: top carbon offset projects may not cut planet-heating emissionsNina LakhaniThe team compared project filings with data developed by the University of Maryland and made available on the Global Forest Watch online platform. A second source of satellite data, Forobs, developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, was used to check the findings. This showed a similar trend.
Are carbon offsets all they’re cracked up to be? We tracked one from Kenya to England to find out.Angus Chapman and Desné Masie We set out to follow the journey of a carbon credit purchased from the buzzy startup Ecologi by Al Dix, a retiree from Yorkshire, England, who wants to take practical climate action.
Climate Home NewsCooking the books: cookstove offsets produce millions of fake emission cutsMatteo CivilliniProjects in India linked to Enking, the self-proclaimed world’s largest carbon credits producer, have vastly overestimated climate benefits
MongabayMassive carbon offset deal with Dubai-based firm draws fire in LiberiaAshoka MukpoReporting on a leaked draft of a proposed deal between Liberia and a United Arab Emirates-based firm.
Oregon Public BroadcastingA giant Oregon wildfire shows the limits of carbon offsets in fighting climate changeHal BerntonTo help counter their greenhouse gas pollution, Microsoft and other companies invested millions in a project to store more carbon in Southern Oregon trees. The 2021 Bootleg Fire upended that plan.
Wall Street JournalRebuilding Trust in Carbon Offsets Faces Uphill BattleDieter HolgerAround 95% of buyers today don’t meet new standards on carbon offsets
SourceMaterialRevolt of the South Pole penguinsTeamOur investigation, in partnership with Dutch investigative journalism platform Follow The Money and Swiss newspaper NZZ, uncovers secretive deals with oil giants and authoritarian governments
Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP) and othersA Reservation Sold Carbon Credits and Its Inhabitants Didn't KnowAndrés Bermúdez Liévano Spanish and EnglishA carbon project began selling credits hailing from the indigenous reservation of Cumbal, in the paramos of southern Colombia, despite the fact that most of its inhabitants weren’t even aware of its existence.
BloombergBP Paid Rural Mexicans a “Pittance” for Wall Street's Favorite Climate SolutionMax De HaldevangPaywallAs part of its net zero plans, BP invested in a community project in Mexico aimed at protecting a dwindling forest through the sale of carbon credits. Only thing is that the community members had no idea how much carbon credits sell on the market and, at the time the credits were put up for sale, the market was in a slump.
ReutersFactbox: Debt-for-nature swaps swell in climate finance responseA survey of deals in lower-income countries.
MongabayQuestions over accounting and inclusion mar Guyana’s unprecedented carbon schemeDimitri SelibasExplores a forestry deal between Guyana and the Hess Corporation
Climate Change NewsVerra’s revamped forest offset programme comes under fireVerra picked a controversial carbon credit verifier to review its new forest offset rules and critics say the changes don’t fix the problem
ICIJHow we used data to expose flaws in hundreds of green claims by forest products companiesEmilia Díaz-Struck, Delphine Reuter, Jelena Cosic, Miguel Fiandor Gutiérrez, Agustin Armendariz, Karrie Kehoe, Margot Williams and Scilla AlecciHow hundreds of companies worldwide use audits and certification programs that stamp their forestry products as sustainable, despite being denounced by governments and environmental groups for a wide range of destructive practices.
Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP) and othersTwo indigenous communities excluded from a carbon project in their territoryAndrés Bermúdez Liévano Some carbon credit projects promoted by an alliance of four companies in the Monochoa indigenous reservation excluded two communities from the six that worked together for years to preserve their territory in the Amazon.
AP‘Gone wrong’: Doubts on carbon-credit program in Peru forestEd DaveyAn analysis by independent experts and reporting by The Associated Press raises doubts about a project in Peru. Smong other things, the tree loss more than doubled, according to satellite analysis.
Climate Home NewsRevealed: How Shell cashed in on dubious carbon offsets from Chinese rice paddiesMatteo CivilliniShell’s rice farming offset projects are under review. Climate Home found them riddled with accounting loopholes and questionable integrity claims.
Survival InterrnationalBlood Carbon: how a carbon offset scheme makes millions from Indigenous land in Northern KenyaSimon CounsellA carbon offset scheme on Indigenous land in northern Kenya raises major questions about the credibility of the project's claims, as well as about the potential impact on the rights and livelihoods of the Indigenous pastoralist peoples to whom this land is home.
MongabayCarbon credits from award-winning Kenyan offset suspended by VerraAshoka MukpoCarbon offset certifier Verra has suspended issuance of credits from an award-winning project in Kenya, Mongabay has learned, after serious questions were raised about its validation and methodology.
Follow the MoneyThe world’s largest carbon trader is wrestling with painful facts about its business modelBart Crezee, Ties GijzelSouth Pole, the Swiss climate consultancy and carbon trader, is experiencing rough seas after Follow the Money revealed that for a long time the company sold carbon credits which were nearly worthless.
Thompson Reuters FoundationINVESTIGATION-In Brazil's Amazon, disputed carbon credit project feeds land-grabbing fearsAndre Cabette FabioA corporate conservation project in Brazil's Amazon rainforest has sold carbon credits from publicly owned land without state authorization, a Context investigation has found, highlighting concerns about the credibility of offsets from areas with disputed land ownership.
Clean Energy WireCorporate run on carbon credits triggers offset gold rush in Mexico's forestsEmilio GodayMexico is experiencing a carbon offset gold rush... Countless companies invest in carbon offsets based on forest projects, but the climate benefits of this strategy are highly questionable, and the compensation boom often fails to bring about the expected benefits to local communities.
Carbon Market WatchClimate profiteering: Are intermediaries exploiting carbon markets for their own endsGilles DufrasneDespite the role voluntary carbon markets are meant to play in financing climate action, the exact amount of money reaching climate projects and local communities is shrouded in mystery, while nine out of 10 intermediaries do not disclose their fees or profit margins, a new study commissioned by Carbon Market Watch reveals.
The GuardianRevealed: more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets by biggest certifier are worthless, analysis showsPatrick GreenfieldInvestigation into Verra carbon standard finds most are ‘phantom credits’ and may worsen global heating
Der ZeitPhantom Offsets and Carbon DeceitVon Tin Fischer und Hannah KnuthCompanies around the world rely on credits to offset their CO₂ emissions. They have relied for years on carbon credits that prevent far fewer emissions than promised. The story of a global scandal.
The GuardianThe ‘carbon pirates’ preying on Amazon’s Indigenous communitiesPatrick GreenfieldSelling credits should fund forest protection, but unscrupulous firms are making deals where land stewards lose out, say local leaders
Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP) and othersGrey CarbonMultiple authorsSpanish A collection of 11 articles about carbon credit projects. "... in many cases they are not working as they should, so what was intended as a solution has become a problem."
Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP) and othersThe sanctioned politician negotiating carbon credits in the AmazonAndrés Bermúdez Spanish and EnglishOxigreen, which is one of the many companies that travel through the Colombian Amazon promoting carbon projects with indigenous communities, is designing one with the Nonuya de Villazul reservation in the middle Caquetá River. This management is signed by a politician sanctioned for administrative mismanagement in Casanare and disqualified from holding public office and contracting with the State.
Follow the MoneyShowcase project by the world’s biggest carbon trader actually resulted in more carbon emissionsBart Crezee, Ties GijzelFor years, South Pole – the world’s most influential climate consultancy – sold essentially concocted emission rights to hundreds of companies, including Gucci, Volkswagen and energy supplier Greenchoice. As a result, part of the climate achievements of many prestigious companies exist only on paper.
The Guardian‘Nowhere else to go’: forest communities of Alto Mayo, Peru, at centre of offsetting rowPatrick GreenfieldThe Guardian visits the Peruvian Amazon as part of a continuing investigation into forest-based carbon offsetting
APIn Peru, Kichwa tribe wants compensation for carbon creditsEd DaveyA detailed look at the impact of carbon credits in a national park.
Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP) and othersColombia designed safeguards for carbon projects - and then dropped themAndrés Bermúdez Liévano Spanish and EnglishColombia's safeguards to ensure that carbon projects respect the rights of communities who protect forests have remained on paper. Authorities do not require investors developing carbon credits to respect the safeguards or help ethnic communities in negotiations with private companies.
BloombergJunk carbon offsets are what make these big companies ‘carbon neutral’Akshat Rathi, Natasha White and Demetrios PogkasPaywall
BloombergHow the 2022 World Cup Rebuilt a Market for Dodgy Carbon CreditsNatasha White, and Verity RatcliffePaywallHow organizers of the World Cup in Qatar attempted to compensate for that event’s enormous carbon footprint through a dodgy Doha-based certification body that would sign off on projects that fail to meet minimum standards anywhere else in the world.
BloombergA 10,000% Indian Stock Rally Plunges on Shaky Green ClaimsKai Schultz, Rajesh Kumar Singh, Sheryl Tian Tong Lee, and Ashutosh JoshiPaywall
Premium TimesINVESTIGATION: How Nigeria’s N400 million green bond-financed afforestation projects failedAbdulkareem MojeedLess than five years after the implementation of the core afforestation projects, an investigation finds that the projects suffered a major setback because they were poorly implemented.
Latin American Center for Investigative Journalism (CLIP) and othersThe Yuruparí Jaguars' Territory Divided By A Carbon Credit Project Andrés Bermúdez Liévano Spanish and EnglishThe story behind a lawsuit brought by indigenous leaders to invalidate a carbon credit project in their territory in the Amazon claiming that the person who signed it on their behalf was no longer authorized to do so.
Wall Street JournalCompanies Are Buying Large Numbers of Carbon Offsets That Don’t Cut EmissionsShane ShifflettPaywallWith the boom in renewable energy, many of the credits that trade hands merely represent a transfer of money from one profitable enterprise to another, critics say
CBS NewsWestern wildfires threaten carbon offsetsBen TracyAs companies and individuals attempt to shrink their carbon footprints by buying carbon offsets, wildfires in the U.S. West are threatening the land set aside for such efforts.
CLIP, Mongabay Latam, and La Silla VacíaLo que dicen los contratos de bonos de carbono que dividen a comunidades indígenas de VaupésRutas del Conflicto CLIP, Mongabay Latam Mongabay Latam, La Liga Contra el SilencioSpanishNegotiations over carbon credit contracts created tensions within Indigenous communities.
GreenPeace UnearthedHow middlemen carbon brokers take a cut from money meant to help offset emissionsLuke Barratt and Joe Sandler Clarke The investigation found brokers buying carbon credits from forestry projects in poorer countries and selling them on to consumers and companies, including airlines and oil firms, at inflated prices.
Nikkei'Ghost' carbon credits still alive despite end of forest projectMari IshibashiCarbon credits issued for a forest project in Belize are still registered as being active even after CO2 reduction efforts in the area have ended, a Nikkei investigation has found.
Climate Home NewsData exclusive: The ‘junk’ carbon offsets revived by the Glasgow PactChloé Farand, Maribel Ángel-Moreno, Léopold Salzenstein and Jelena MalkowskiAnalysis for Climate Home identifies hundreds of problematic projects that could be used to greenwash national and corporate climate plan.
Climate Change NewsCrypto bubble: The hype machine behind a $70,000 carbon creditChloé FarandUK-based cryptocurrency venture Save Planet Earth has convinced investors it can make them rich and fix the climate, but its tree-planting vision is a long way from reality
CLIP, Mongabay Latam, and La Silla VacíaIn addition to carbon credits, Colombia's largest project might be selling hot airAndrés Bermúdez Liévano Spanish and EnglishBased on Carbon Watch report: gilles.dufrasne@carbonmarketwatch.org
Carbon Market WatchTwo Shades of Green: How hot air forest credits are being used to avoid carbon taxes in ColombiaGilles DufrasneThe Colombian government adopted a carbon tax of approximately US$5/tCO2e covering fossil fuels in 2016. Companies can avoid paying the tax by purchasing carbon offsets from projects inside Colombia. This has boosted the Colombian carbon market, which includes projects aiming to lower deforestation, so-called “REDD+” projects.
The GuardianCarbon offsets used by major airlines based on flawed system, warn expertsPatrick GreenfieldThe forest protection carbon offsetting market used by major airlines for claims of carbon-neutral flying faces a significant credibility problem, with experts warning the system is not fit for purpose, an investigation has found.
2022: Date Uncertain
Bloomberg Green“Exploiting Carbon Offsets”Max De Haldevang, Akshat Rathi, Natasha White, Demetrios Pogkas, Verity Ratcliffe, Ben Elgin and Sinduja Rangarajanseries of stories - paywallThe reporters analyzed more than 200,000 transactions to show how dozens of companies are using questionable accounting to claim “carbon neutral” status.

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