It's Not Easy Being Green: Reflections on the American Carbon Offset Market
Laurie A. Ristino
Vermont Law School - Center for Agriculture and Food Systems; Natural Resources & Environment Journal; Climate Law Reporter
Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Winter 2008, 34-37
Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 25-13
Over the past few years, the U.S. carbon offset market has experienced tremendous growth. This expansion can be attributed to several factors, including the creation of regional greenhouse gas (“GHG”) initiatives, the anticipation of federal regulation, and growing public concern regarding climate change. In the absence of a national system of carbon offset standards, a confusing myriad of methodologies governs the creation of offsets. The media has repeatedly questioned the credibility of carbon offsets, likening them to papal indulgences for environmental sins committed. Indeed, the emphasis on offsets to mitigate climate change has distorted their appropriate role in any future national framework to address climate change and may distract from the more fundamental changes needed to address climate change. Likewise, the ease at which some offsets are acquired to reduce emissions serves to over-simplify the comprehensive, national response that is necessary to address climate change.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: Carbon Offsets, Environmental Law, Green, Climate Change
Date posted: July 9, 2013 ; Last revised: July 23, 2013
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