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Outdated carbon credits from old wind and solar farms are threatening climate change efforts

By Mark Maslin, Professor of Earth System Science, UCL
Simon Lewis, Professor of Global Change Science at University of Leeds and, UCL
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French global energy giant Total recently announced it had delivered its first shipment of “carbon neutral liquid natural gas”. Natural gas is, of course, a fossil fuel and so can’t itself be carbon neutral. Instead, emissions from transporting the cargo were partly “offset” by investing in a wind farm in China.

But here’s the problem: that wind farm has been operating since 2011 and has already issued more than 2 million tonnes of these so-called “carbon…

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