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CSSN Position Paper: Net Zero, Carbon Removal and the Limitations of Carbon Offsetting

June 13, 2022

A position paper from CSSN’s Working Group on Net Zero provides an overview of key concepts and questions regarding net zero emissions targets and the proposed role of carbon offsets to help meet them. It aims to introduce clarity and nuance to the net zero debate by rejecting the presumption that the achievement of net zero depends on offsetting. It indicates ways in which a focus on offsetting might undermine the pursuit of net zero, highlighting mechanisms through which offsetting can delay or even obstruct climate action, in particular the phasing out of fossil fuels.