With all the recent criticism of carbon offset programs, Amy Sims, of Global Action Plan, writing in the UK’s BusinessGreen Blog, offers some useful advice on why you should be careful when offsetting carbon emissions.
- Carbon offsetting should only be used as an absolute final step in reducing your carbon emissions – lighten your footprint first.
- If you have no choice but to travel, ensure the method you are using to offset is scientifically valid with the WWF Gold Standard, or will meet the UK’s new proposed code of practice currently under consultation.
- Seek proof that the offset program is additional – the project wasn’t going to be done anyway – and that the benefits of the project are long term.
- Be particularly wary of forestry programs as a neutralizing method – there are questions about the effectiveness of trees as a carbon sink.