Are all carbon offsets the same?
There are a number of potential benefits to using carbon offsets.But while purchasing carbon offsets can be as simple as logging onto a website and entering your credit card information, buyers should be aware that, as with any other product or service, there is a wide range of quality in the carbon market.
In fact, some of the offsets available for sale on the market likely have no climate benefit at all, which has contributed to public skepticism and a media backlash around offsets.In order to ensure that carbon offsets represent real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, only high-quality offsets should be purchased. However, some vendors offer scant information on their websites about their offsets. And even when vendors do provide detailed information, it can be difficult for the average purchaser to understand and compare the often baffling list of offset criteria, such as additionality, permanence, and unique ownership. Furthermore, unlike for some goods or services, there is no guarantee that higher offset prices will necessarily be associated with higher quality(although there is some correlation).To overcome these obstacles and be able to assess offset quality, purchasers will find it helpful to understand the issues associated with different offset project types.
Finally, purchasers can have more confidence that the carbon offsets they are buying meet these quality criteria by looking for offsets that have been certified to a recognized independent standard, like The Gold Standard.