For the current economic condition with respect to attempts to transition to clean energy, it is a very good thing. I am not an expert by any means, but I have read a lot about it. Carbon offsets create what is called a cap-and-trade system. In essence, in produces a new market but with carbon as a commodity. The first step in reducing carbon emission is by regulating groups with large carbon footprints without hurting their income and current condition. By imposing carbon offsets, these companies can sell carbon offset credits to companies/groups that need it. Theoretically, there will be a shift towards methods that will be lower and lower in emission because of this monetary incentive. Companies with low to no carbon emissions will be able to sell it to companies that need these offsets, and at the same time they will be researching and incorporating carbon free technologies. There was a good article in the magazine Foreign Affairs September/October issue. The partial article is linked below.
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