Of course we’ve been here before. On the eve of the date mooted for the official launch of the UK Government’s new Quality Assured Offsetting Scheme (QAS), uncertainty persists on whether it will actually go live tomorrow or not.
Gordon Brown put the cat amongst the pigeons last Friday when he reshuffled the cabinet and created the new Department for Energy and Climate Change, headed up by Ed Milliband. The timing adds uncertainty for the Quality Mark, as there is a strong possibility that it will now be delayed again while Mr Milliband catches up with his new portfolio.
So when now? DEFRA continue to be as helpful as they can be in the circumstances and have indicated that approval will need to be sought from the new Secretary of State. They have highlighted it as an urgent issue.
In the meantime Clear’s offsets are almost fully compliant with the new standard, with full accreditation pending the official launch. Thanks must go to Ben Hedley, who has put a superhuman effort into getting all our calculators just right for DEFRA. Hopefully this means that consumers will be able to offset their carbon footprints using the newly approved products very soon after the announcement.