'Crazy' carbon offsets market prompts calls for regulation

Only a tiny fraction of carbon-removing projects remove CO2 from the air, leading to growing skepticism and growing demand for improved oversight.

Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

When Swedish bank SEB AB announced recently that it wanted to buy into the market for carbon credits, what it got was a pile of duds. 

Hans Beyer, SEB's chief sustainability officer, says most of the roughly 150 pitches that he received last year weren't backed by any recognized body validating claims to be permanently removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And some were pitched on the basis of doing nothing at all - merely pledges to avoid emitting CO2 in the future.

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