Based on current research, we have concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence that carbon offsetting is an effective means of achieving permanent carbon reductions.
We recognise that carbon offsetting will have a role to play in future and we are working with partners and supporting research in this field.
Read the position statement on carbon offsetting.
Achieving net zero
UKRI is committed to embedding environmental sustainability across all our investment decisions and reaching net zero emissions in our operations by 2040. We are therefore prioritising work to reduce carbon emissions.
Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of the Natural Environment Research Council, said:
Current research has informed our position that carbon offsetting should not be used for activities funded by UKRI grants and I hope the statement announced today will clarify our position. UKRI will continue to review this position as evidence and research further develops.
Read more about our commitment to reaching net zero emissions in UKRI’s environmental sustainability strategy.
To UKRI, ‘carbon offsetting’ means the capture, absorption or reduction of carbon made with the intention of compensating (‘offsetting’) for carbon emissions made elsewhere. Offsetting is typically delivered through purchasing carbon credits from a third party.
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