CIEE research fellow Dr. Barbara Haya explains the problem with airline carbon offsets in a recent article by the NY Times.
Fundamentally, “you’re trading a known amount of emissions with an uncertain amount of emissions reductions,” said Haya. “But there’s also the whole trading approach of companies being able to buy their way out of their responsibility to reduce their own emissions.”
For those who are interested in supporting broader efforts to reduce emissions, Haya suggests identifying initiatives through organizations like The Gold Standard and Green-e. “But think of it as a donation,” she cautions, “not as buying credits to cover your emissions.”
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