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Institut für Politikwissenschaft

Is the UN really climate neutral? No. - Axel Michaelowa

The UN claims to be almost entirely climate neutral, yet that claim is based on buying millions of carbon offset credits that experts say do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, The New Humanitarian and Mongabay found in a year-long investigation.

About this investigation: The UN has long championed the need for urgent climate solutions. Yet its own actions – particularly its reliance on low-quality carbon offsets – undermine its leadership on fighting climate change. Building on our 2021 investigation that found the UN failed to count all of its emissions, The New Humanitarian teamed up with Mongabay, a US-based environmental news outlet, to investigate the UN’s claims of climate neutrality. In an investigation that took a year and spanned multiple countries, reporters obtained details about carbon credits purchased by 33 UN entities, representing more than 75% of its reported offset portfolio since 2012. More than a dozen of the projects that issued the UN’s carbon credits were linked to reports of environmental damage, displacement, or health concerns. Others were deemed worthless by a number of leading climate experts.