Carbon offsets offer a market-based plan for reducing greenhouse gases, which makes them an appealing prospect to conservatives opposed to strict caps and other environment regulations. Environmentalists continue to criticize the practice, however, saying that pollution should simply not occur in the first place. Furthermore, offsets typically focus on planting trees as carbon dioxide sinks; however pollution often involves more threats than just CO2 that sinks do not ameliorate. As a supplement to regulatory policy they seem to be a reasonable idea, but current debate suggests they won’t be the favored method of regulation any time soon.
I think it will be mandatory, but built into the system so that it does not seem like it is a handicap but just something that is necessary. It’ll become a part of everyday business calculations, just like many other measures that are taken into account. The actual carbon offsets may not be what we think they are now, because new ideas and developments may change what may be considered to be a carbon offset. There still needs to be a better way to enforce these and standardize them.
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