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Category: Solutions

Can offsets work? Absolutely.

Written By: Dave Rochlin | 6 comments | Join the Discussion

In the US, we account for 20% of man made greenhouse gas emissions, with less than 5% of the population. What if the other 95% all lived like we do? Footprint reduction through conservation and smarter consumer choices is critical, but most of us will still be far above a level that is sustainable for the planet. ClimatePath has helped over 100,000 people and businesses create social impact while reducing their ecological footprint.

Without using offsets, there is no way to close this gap. When done right, offsetting your footprint supports global solutions and real change. The catch is that not all offsets do that.

Offsets can support forest preservation, energy efficiency, poverty reducing fuel switching, and other permanent changes - encouraging a new sustainable future and making up for the carbon footprint created by your lifestyle. But many generic or 'blended' offsets do not ensure real impact and ignore whether the projects helps lift people, save ecosystems, or preserve wildlife. Worse yet, others subsidize 'dirty' industries, sell environmental benefits that would have happened anyway, or lack credible standards.

You won't find those projects here. ClimatePath seeks out projects that follow established standards, and have added benefits that deserve recognition. Finally, you can feel confident that offsetting works. No vague and misleading project descriptions, generic credits, or bundling of livestock projects with wind power. We commit to bringing you radical transparency for each offset project, so that you can see where your money goes.

We also want you to be part of the conversation, to talk about what you're doing, and to help solve the problem by enlisting others in the fight. That's why we want you to choose the specific projects to support with your offset donation. It's why we commit to talking about conservation not just in easy tidbits, but presenting deeper objective analysis. And why we are building tools to help you spread the word.

Can offsets make a difference? If you recognize that structural changes here at home will take time we don't have...and if you are willing to use the power of your pocketbook - created by our carbon-driven economy -- to take the world in a new and sustainable direction, then the answer is yes.

Discuss This

  1. martinluther posted on 02.12.11

    nice but needs hard work. :)

  2. juliyajim posted on 11.25.10

    If all the funds were placed into a fund that the politicians could not spend and be used for nuclear power, smart grid and r&d and each country kept their own money and the UN was kept out of it I would support it.

  3. posted on 04.25.10

    In germany are many of these i think its not efficient here

  4. MidwestGreen posted on 12.23.09

    Cap and Trade is just a scheme to make money and it will do nothing to reduce pollution. A straight carbon tax would do more than this. If all the funds were placed into a fund that the politicians could not spend and be used for nuclear power, smart grid and r&d and each country kept their own money and the UN was kept out of it I would support it.

  5. posted on 12.11.09

    True, renewable energy is going to be the next big industry.

  6. Beaker posted on 11.13.09

    I heard somewhere that it would take 4 earths to support a worldwide 'western lifestyle.' We need to lighten up on the planet. Offsetting makes sense, especially if it helps out people and animals. But so does living more sustainably: We should all buy local, and use cars, airplanes and appliances less!

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Discuss This

  1. martinluther posted on 02.12.11

    nice but needs hard work. :)

  2. juliyajim posted on 11.25.10

    If all the funds were placed into a fund that the politicians could not spend and be used for nuclear power, smart grid and r&d and each country kept their own money and the UN was kept out of it I would support it.

  3. posted on 04.25.10

    In germany are many of these i think its not efficient here

  4. MidwestGreen posted on 12.23.09

    Cap and Trade is just a scheme to make money and it will do nothing to reduce pollution. A straight carbon tax would do more than this. If all the funds were placed into a fund that the politicians could not spend and be used for nuclear power, smart grid and r&d and each country kept their own money and the UN was kept out of it I would support it.

  5. posted on 12.11.09

    True, renewable energy is going to be the next big industry.

  6. Beaker posted on 11.13.09

    I heard somewhere that it would take 4 earths to support a worldwide 'western lifestyle.' We need to lighten up on the planet. Offsetting makes sense, especially if it helps out people and animals. But so does living more sustainably: We should all buy local, and use cars, airplanes and appliances less!

Register or Sign-In to contribute to the discussion.