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Complaint against police board over probe into carbon offset scheme

Last year the Helsinki police department requested an investigation into the Compensate carbon offset foundation.

Poliitikko Antero Vartia.
Police are seeking clarity on the nature of Antero Vartia's Compensate carbon offset scheme. Image: Laura Railamaa / Yle

The man at the centre of a carbon offset foundation that has caught the attention of police over a possible breach of fundraising laws has filed a complaint against the police board’s gambling body, which is responsible for supervising lotteries - as well as fundraising campaigns - at the national level.

According to daily Helsingin Sanomat, former Greens MP Antero Vartia has filed a complaint with the Chancellor of Justice about the actions of the National Police Board’s Gambling Administration.

In December last year, the National Police Board requested an investigation into Vartia’s Compensate Foundation, which says it aims to help consumers mitigate climate change by voluntarily purchasing carbon offsets that help correspond to their carbon footprints.

Police were acting on the basis of a request for a probe into Compensate’s activities in relation to fundraising laws. The Board said that the foundation’s operations required a fundraising permit as it is a non-profit organisation.

The probe centred on determining whether the donors to the foundation are making charitable contributions or buying a product or service.

The foundation began operations in 2019 without a fundraising permit. It applied for one last autumn. According to Vartia the organisation has actively tried to determine whether or not it needs a permit.

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