Commenting ahead of the government's announcement of a voluntary code on carbon off-setting and a statement from Tesco which is also due to feature off-setting, Charlie Kronick, head of Greenpeace's climate and energy campaign, said:
"The scientists warn we need to slash our carbon emissions, but there is a risk that the fashion for off-setting could actually encourage people to take flights and unnecessary journeys. The truth is, once you've put a tonne of CO2 into the atmosphere there's nothing off-setting can do to stop it changing our climate.
"The government's announcement of a voluntary code for carbon offset products will do little to protect the climate or make it easier for consumers to do the right thing, because offsets shift the responsibility for reducing our carbon footprint from Western governments to ordinary people in the developing world. Instead the government should be taking the radical action needed to reduce our emissions here at home, like stopping airport expansion and reforming our wasteful electricity generation system. The announcement is a smokescreen.
"Too often carbon off-setting is Enron environmentalism, a neat accounting trick that does little to stop global warming. The government should focus on transforming the way we use energy here in the UK at the same time as helping to put the growing economies of the developing world on a low carbon pathway."
For more information and to arrange an interview, contact the Greenpeace press office on 020 7865 8255.