You are currently viewing Carbon Offsets, a Much-Criticized Climate Tool, Get Federal Guidelines

The new principles aim to define ‘high-integrity’ offsets amid concerns that current practices often don’t cut greenhouse gas emissions as claimed.

The Biden administration on Tuesday laid out for the first time a set of broad government guidelines around the use of carbon offsets in an attempt to shore up confidence in a method for tackling global warming that has faced growing criticism.

Companies and individuals spent $1.7 billion last year voluntarily buying carbon offsets, which are intended to cancel out the climate effects of activities like air travel by funding projects elsewhere, such as the planting of trees, that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but that wouldn’t have happened without the extra money.

Yet a growing number of studies and reports have found that many carbon offsets simply don’t work. Some offsets help fund wind or solar projects that likely would have been built anyway. And it’s often extremely difficult to

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Energy & Environment.

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