Staff at Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) are demanding its CEO quits amid a backlash at plans to permit firms to use carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions.

The UN-backed environmental standards non-profit is the world’s main verifier of corporate climate targets.

According to a Reuters report, staff at the organisation are calling for dramatic action after the organisation announced plans to allow companies to use carbon credits to cut emissions from their value chains, also known as scope 3.

SBTi leadership say that carbon credits, when used properly, can be a valuable tool in tackling climate change.

It said: “While recognizing that there is an ongoing healthy debate on the subject matter, SBTi recognizes that, when properly supported by policies, standards and procedures based on scientific evidence, the use of environmental attribute certificates for abatement purposes on Scope 3 emissions could function as an additional tool to tackle climate change.

“Consequently, SBTi has decided to extend their use for the purpose of abatement of Scope 3 related emissions beyond the current limits.”

However, staff have accused its leadership of acting without a sound scientific basis in making the decision.

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In a letter to the SBTi’s board of trustees and CEO seen by Reuters, the staff criticised the decision to allow the use of carbon offsets, saying it was subject to undefined “guardrails and thresholds”.

Some critics say the use of carbon credits can help companies circumvent cutting emissions.

The letter says: “As staff representing SBTi on a daily basis, we demand immediate action to mitigate the grave reputational damage caused by the actions of the Board.”

It calls for the resignation of SBTi CEO Luiz Amaral and board members who supported the policy shift on offsets to resign and the withdrawal of the new policy.

The letter has been signed by staff from various SBTi’s teams including its Target Validation Team, Target Operations Team, and the Technical Department, while members of the SBTi’s technical advisory group were also angered by the move.

“None of us were informed. It just came out of the blue,” said Stephan Singer, senior adviser at the nonprofit Climate Action Network, who said he had  quit over the issue.

Circular economyClimate crisisInnovationNature and the environmentNet zeroNewsPolicySocial sustainabilitySupply Chain

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