UPDATED 15 January 2024


Response to Guardian Article about the effectiveness of projects in the carbon market

Gold Standard is committed to working with the media in good faith. We have worked with many at the Guardian and have always been responsive to their requests for information and clarification. We appreciate their efforts to bring professional reporting and analysis of the complexities of the Carbon Market to their readers and we generally find their reporting to be fair and balanced.

Unfortunately, in this case we feel the journalist has fallen short of this standard in using cherry-picked secondary evidence to fit a story they wanted to tell, and then told it in inflammatory language.

When approached for comment on this story, we asked the Guardian to provide us with evidence to allow us to examine their claims. For two of the three projects they initially claimed were “junk” they informed us they had “relied upon” ratings from a single ratings agency.

We’ve checked with that ratings agency. They do not recognise this characterisation of their conclusions and have not described any of Gold Standard’s credits as “junk”.

For the third project the Guardian provided more evidence than from that agency. Having inspected this evidence, it did not back up the conclusions they had drawn. We pointed this out to the journalist, and they changed their assessment of the project.

We asked the journalist to share detailed analysis of the other projects to allow us to provide a similar informed response, and they did not do so. Despite what the article claims, we have not commented on their conclusions – simply because they haven’t allowed us to see the further evidence they used, if it exists.

We will also be submitting an official complaint to the Guardian’s Readers Editor as we believe this reporting breaks The Guardian’s editorial code of practice and guidance.

Gold Standard Newsletter Subscription

Stay updated on our latest news and more.