Carbon Aided

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Global warming.jpg This article is part of the Climate project of Spinwatch.

According to their website (November 2009), Carbon Aided provide 'carbon footprint and carbon management solutions for businesses and individuals'[1]. This includes, carbon footprinting, carbon abatement and offset projects (particularly for large businesses) verified to 'Gold Standard, Voluntary Carbon Standard, Clean Development Mechanism or Joint Implementation Standard'[2].

Despite being named third in a 2008 ENDS report[3] on the top carbon offset companies (judged on carbon and sustainability quality of their projects)[4] Carbon Aided appear to have strong links to the biofuels, carbon capture and other so-called-renewables industries, using offset money (from businesses who benefit from a 'green image') to fund the biofuels and renewables industry particularly promoting electrification and market based economy in the Global South.

Offsetting or exacerbating?

Carbon Aided's main offset projects are in the areas of 'Biofuels, Geothermal energy, Coal mine methane capture and utilisation, Landfill gas capture and utilisation, Rural electrification, Industrial and domestic energy efficiency, Low carbon procurement strategies, Geological sequestration and Solar and wind'[5]. On the one hand, small scale hydro and biogas projects can bring real benefits and self reliance to isolated communities. However it can also be argued that offset money is flowing into improving the market for carbon producing and ethically flawed industries such as biofuels, large scale geothermal and biochar, which have been accused of 'greenwashing' regarding their own activities, as well as making deals with polluting large-scale industries giving them a 'green sheen'. [6] [7]

Clean Development Mechanism

Their front page emphasises the role of offsetting in global 'development' particularly through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). They critique the credentials of many CDM projects, claiming that they have not had an effect on poverty reduction. Carbon Aided claim that with offset money they will be able to entirely finance effective 'development' projects which may not have otherwise been possible. [8]

Their main campaign is the HEDON project, of which they are a member. This promotes 'clean cooking' through shifting from open fires to bio-gas cookers in the global South, which it claims meets four of the CDM goals (for health, income generation, hunger and education) as they claim not gathering fuel will free time for better education and income generation, as well as healthier cooking. [9]. Thus extra income may well be needed as using bio-gas signifies a change from currency free cooking, to a consumer based model in which fuel must be bought. It would be interesting to know what connections HEDON has with the biofuels and biogas industry who will undoubtedly benefit from this project.

The carbon offset industry

In 2008 the industry caused a media stir when top carbon offset retailer Climate Care was bought by JP Morgan 'suggesting a continuing role for voluntary-grade carbon credits, despite recent criticisms and uncertainty'[10]. The collaboration would 'create a leading market-maker in carbon emission reductions' by managing global carbon reduction projects and trading resultant carbon credits on the compliance and voluntary markets. This move follows a trend for bank ownership of carbon offset groups. According to an ENDS report 'Morgan Stanley owns part of MGM International, Credit Suisse has a stake in Ecosecurities, Citigroup has a stake in Sindicatum and Merrill Lynch owns part of Core Carbon Group.

It is claimed that the voluntary carbon market may reach 1 billion dollars by 2012, while it was only 1% of the global carbon market in 2008.[11] This sector has been criticised for producing carbon credits which are unregulated by the official system. Such Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VERs) may have vastly different standards of certification and verification and monitoring, a situation which openly invites abuse of the system and large-scale greenwash.[12] A 2008 ENDS report particularly criticises the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS) and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). 'Each has a number of failings. In particular, they lack robust mechanisms to ensure that carbon reductions are additional to business-as-usual.'[13]




'Our team has a combined 100 years of experience of working in energy, environment, development, engineering, project management, emissions trading, corporate finance and strategy, marketing and PR.'[14]

  • Dick Jones (former Senior Energy Adviser at the UK Department for International Development)



According to their website, 'clients include Aviva, John Lewis, Travelex, Building Design Partnership, Durkan, Treasury Holdings, Royal Mail, the Development Bank of the Philippines, Ecocem, Practical Action and Christian Aid. [15]

Farma and the Department for International Development (DFID) are also named as collaborators.




CarbonAided Ltd
Grosvenor Gardens House
35-37 Grosvenor Gardens
London SW1W 0BS, United Kingdom




  1. Carbon Aided About Carbon Aided, Accessed 28/11/09
  2. Carbon Aided About Carbon Aided, Accessed 28/11/09
  3. ENDS website on Carbon Offsets Accessed 28/11/09
  4. ENDS Report, April 23, 2008 'JP Morgan deal boosts voluntary carbon market'
  5. Carbon Aided geographic experience, Accessed 28/11/09
  6. Jaap Krater and Miriam Rose (2009), 'Development of Iceland’s geothermal energy potential for aluminium production – a critical analysis' in Abrahamsky, K. (ed.) (2009) Sparking a World-wide Energy Revolution: Social Struggles in the Transition to a Post-Petrol World. AK Press, Edinburgh.
  7. David JC MacKay (2009), 'Sustainable Energy — without the hot air' UIT, Cambridge
  8. Carbon Aided Global Poverty, Accessed 28/11/09
  9. Carbon Aided Global Poverty, Accessed 28/11/09
  10. ENDS Report, April 23, 2008 'JP Morgan deal boosts voluntary carbon market'
  11. ENDS Report, April 23, 2008 'JP Morgan deal boosts voluntary carbon market'
  12. ENDS Report, April 23, 2008 'JP Morgan deal boosts voluntary carbon market'
  13. ENDS Report, April 23, 2008 'JP Morgan deal boosts voluntary carbon market'
  14. Carbon Aided Why Us, Accessed 28/11/09
  15. Carbon Aided Why Us, Accessed 28/11/09