WSJ Feature: CSB Director Tensie Whelan Advises Consumers Interested in Purchasing Carbon Offsets

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Carbon offsets are gaining popularity as a way for consumers to reduce the effects of their activities on the environment. CSB Director Tensie Whelan was featured in an article published by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and offers consumers guidance on how to assess whether an offset is effective and trustworthy. 

Everyday activities such as driving, using air conditioning, or purchasing goods produce carbon. Offsets are a way for consumers and institutions to mitigate their individual impact by investing in environmental projects aimed at removing or avoiding the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

However, the market for carbon offsets is not regulated, so it is important to ensure they are being sold by reputable providers such as nonprofit organizations. To assess the legitimacy and impact of offsets in the market, consumers should look for those that clearly specify how emissions are reduced and reported and should stay away from projects that do not have third-party oversight, suggested Professor Whelan. 

Though offsets are undeniably a useful way of taking steps to minimize your impact, Professor Whelan suggests consumers ensure each metric ton of emissions consumers purchase have a unique serial number to avoid offsets being resold and double counted. 

Excerpt: “Offsets are easier than ever to buy online. The coming climate-change summit in Glasgow, called COP26, could put offsets on the radar of more consumers.”

Read the full article here.