REDD-Monitor: Living Carbon is selling carbon offsets generated from planting genetically engineered trees: A false solution combined with a techno-fix on top of another false solution
Chris Lang’s March 18, 2023 article in REDD-Monitor is a great overview of how Living Carbon is selling carbon offsets with no peer-reviewed science to back its claims.
Excerpts from the article can be found below, and the entire article can be read on REDD-Monitor’s website.
On 16 February 2023, a company called Living Carbon planted almost 5,000 genetically-engineered poplar trees in southern Georgia, USA. The trees are genetically-engineered to grow quickly and to absorb more CO₂ from the atmosphere. The company has already started selling carbon credits that it hopes will be generated by the carbon that the trees absorb.
Lack of Scientific Evidence
Despite the complete lack of scientific evidence of what its GE trees can actually achieve, Living Carbon is already forward selling carbon offsets. In January 2023, Reuters reported [company co-founder Maddie] Hall as saying that Living Carbon had “sold out of its carbon credits for 2023, but is doing pre-sales for the following two years.”
Selling Unverified Carbon Credits
All of these carbon offsets are being sold before they are validated or verified in any way. Many of them were on sale before a single tree had been planted. And all of them were sold in the complete absence of any peer-reviewed science showing that Living Carbon’s GE trees will achieve what the company claims they will.
A September 2022 report by the Stop GE Trees Campaign and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network includes a profile of Living Carbon that highlights that the company was selling carbon offsets long before it had planted a single tree in the ground.
This is a False Solution to the Climate Crisis
This is a false solution to the climate crisis (tree planting), combined with a dangerous techno-fix (GE trees), added to another false solution (carbon trading). It’s a dangerous distraction from the urgent structural changes that are needed to address the climate crisis.