Dozens of companies and organisations have bought rainforest offsets approved by Verra for environmental claims. In reaction, some companies simply stated that the credits bought were certified by Verra, the “world’s leading certification organisation” .
However, relying on Verra’s approval and the certifying agencies is insufficient. According to Thales West, a lead environmental economist at the Free University in Amsterdam, Verra’s “methodologies are based on fragile assumptions. That, makes them fundamentally unreliable. There is much room to game the system” .
Moreover, Verra has a conflicting interest: on the one hand, it wants to maintain a reliable reputation and intervene in case of possible overestimation of carbon credits; on the other hand, it gets a commission per verified credit. In other words, Verra has to verify offset calculations, but it benefits when estimating the number of carbon credits higher .