Why Carbon Offsetting Doesn’t Work

Coal power plant Datteln 2Photo: Arnold Paul

Carbon offsetting is a great way to claim carbon neutrality when you are trying to reduce the effects of your carbon footprint on the environment. Investing in green projects such as reforestation and alternative clean energy development projects seems like a great way to offset your own carbon emissions. However, the reality is that there are many problems resulting from carbon offsetting projects, meaning it is less valuable as an alternative than it appears.

The Federal Trade Commission has expressed concern over carbon offsetting programs, as there is no oversight for them and therefore, no guarantee that the money consumers and industries are investing is being utilized appropriately, according to their intentions.

Additionally, there is no guarantee of sustainability with many types of offsetting projects. For one thing, if a consumer invests in a reforestation project there is no information about who will plant the trees and tend to them. Also, if the trees do not survive, the donor does not actually achieve the carbon neutrality that they believe they are purchasing with their offset investments.

Finally, the only effective way to fight global warming and climate change is by reducing carbon emissions that result from the burning of fossil fuels. Thus, investing in clean energy, solar or wind generated electricity, to help make a true difference. By reducing our reliance on oil-based fuels for our cars, homes and industries, we are freeing ourselves from environmental problems and our dependence on foreign oil.

These are some of the reasons that carbon offsetting doesn’t work and why the government is working hard to educate people about the importance of green living and the reduction of carbon emissions. It is important to live greener, but the carbon offsetting programs currently in progress may not be the best way to develop a pattern of carbon neutrality.

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