While carbon offsets are growing in popularity, the carbon market is new and there is not an official standard to follow, some carbon credits and retailers are of dubious value. The lack of regulation in carbon markets is spurring creativity and innovation in some areas; but, it has also created a “cowboy free-for-all” that requires caution from those attempting to purchase legitimate offsets. But there are many ways to look for credibility when purchasing offsets. Standards are emerging and being used in the voluntary carbon market. Third party certifications from theRainforest Alliance and other organizations are also helping purchasers assess the value of carbon offsets in the market. Interested in checking for credibility? Check out a publication put out in 2006 by Clean Air Cool Planet (a New Hampshire based Overbrook grantee) called A Consumer’s Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers. The guide is comprehensive and digestible and provides valuable information about the different qualities of carbon offsets.
A special thanks to both Christine Terada and Carolynn Johnson at Overbrook who have helped with this process all year long!