Friday, February 8, 2008

States Ask FTC to Develop Guidelines for Climate Offsets / Associated Press For the 2/10/08 edition

CARBON COPIES? Leery about the potential for fraud in the carbon offset market, officials in 10 states have asked the Federal Trade Commission to develop guidelines for businesses that sell credits.

Carbon offset is the term applied to credits bought by people and companies to offset their contributions to global climate change by supporting environmental projects.

The inherently intangible nature of carbon offsets and the lack of standards and definitions among those selling them make it hard for consumers to know whether they got what they paid for, according to the attorney general for Vermont, William Sorrell, and his counterparts in nine other states.

The market for carbon offsets has ballooned into a $100 million-a-year business, but it needs regulation, the attorneys general said in a seven-page letter Jan. 27.

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