Thanks for your article. I have a question regarding the EACs sold by Norway: how is that different from regular voluntary carbon credits? Why is it more "cheating" than buying regular offsets?

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Offsets are not the same instrument. There's a spectrum, which starts at offsets then through EACs and PPAs, with some overlap as they're bundled or unbundled. https://www.ecocostsvalue.com/lca/gos-and-recs-in-lca/ describes the problems with these and I added a good comparison table between them all in my earlier post https://www.devsustainability.com/p/energy-systems-and-247-carbon-free from a report by Princeton https://www.dropbox.com/s/ela5hwzpb1tzmer/2021-11-16_24-7_Carbon-Free-Electricity.pdf?dl=0

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Ok, but those are just fancy definitions of exactly the same concept. Let us take the example of Norway who built a lot of hydropower in the last century. Whether they sell bundled, unbundled or no GOs at all, the dams are there producing electricity anyways. And the purchase of GOs doesn't suddenly make a dam appear instead a coal power plant somewhere else by magics. As far as the atmosphere is concerned it still sees exactly the same amount of emissions (from the total average energy mix). It is just carbon accounting and has only 2 impacts in the real world:

- A positive one: it incentivizes energy producers to shift their infrastructures out of hydrocarbons so that they can sell more GOs. But this will work only as long as the revenue from selling GOs is higher than the cost of the transition.

- A negative one: green washing. It makes society think that we are on the right track, while we are not. It is exactly the same problem as moving mining industry outside of rich countries to make people think that our industries are cleaner. We simply displaced the problem somewhere out of sight. With GOs you clean the image of rich companies by pushing their carbon emissions to the population (who won't be buying GOs) using the residual energy mix.

GOs have no reality in the physical world and therefore it is a lie to say that they "help combat climate change" as the table states in your other post.

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