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The inconvenient truth of carbon offsets

4 Apr 2012

Nature

KEVIN ANDERSON

"Planet Under Pressure was a major conference on the environment held in London last week. As a climate-change scientist, I was invited to organize a session at it and to present my group's research. I declined the offer, and here is why.

The organizers of the conference said that the event would be "as close to carbon neutral as possible". There are good ways to achieve this noble goal: virtual engagement such as video conferencing, advice on lower-carbon travel options, and innovative registration tariffs to reward lower-carbon involvement. But, instead, the organizers chose a series of carbon-offset projects financed through a compulsory £35 (US$56) fee levied on all delegates.

This was unacceptable to me. Offsetting is worse than doing nothing. It is without scientific legitimacy, is dangerously misleading and almost certainly contributes to a net increase in the absolute rate of global emissions growth..." Read the full article here.

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