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Voluntary carbon offsetting in (climate) action: Perception coalitions, representations, and regulation (2023-2027)

Consortium: University of Helsinki, Luke and University of Eastern Finland.

OFFCORR explores the phenomenon of carbon offsetting as part of a global transformation necessitated by climate change, assuming that this transformation occurs in three interacting and embedded ‘spheres’: the practical, political, and personal.

The project is aimed to provide:

  • a detailed analysis of the dynamics between social representations and the practices of carbon offsetting;
  • a critical overview of current national and international regulation landscape and identify needed legal reforms in Finland to enable a better functioning of voluntary carbon offsetting;
  • a holistic picture of advocacy coalitions constructed around carbon offsetting, and their role in the development of laws and regulations.

OFFCORR is an interdisciplinary research project comprising contributions from the fields of law, social psychology and political science. The CCEEL hosts a work package (WP) on regulation of voluntary carbon offsetting in Finland. The aim of this WP is to understand 1) how voluntary carbon compensation is currently regulated and how it is linked to mandatory emission reduction at the national and international levels, 2) what are the key regulatory gaps and challenges that hinder the development of an effective voluntary carbon offset market, and 3) what legal reforms are needed in Finland to enable a better functioning of voluntary carbon offsetting and address concerns related to environmental integrity and consumer protection. Research in this WP relies on collaboration with WPs on social representations and practical action of offsetting among citizens and forest owners (University of Helsinki) and perception coalitions in the policy system of voluntary carbon offsetting in Finland (Luke).

Work package leaderKateryna Holzer (UEF).

Subproject PIKati Kulovesi (UEF).

Consortium PIAnnukka Vainio (University of Helsinki).