Despite the difficulties encountered by some well regarded offsetting groups, I am completing my carbon buyback commitment today by covering my flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi and the return from Entebbe back to Amsterdam.
The “Gold Standard,” a classification backed by the United Nations and dozens of environmental groups, sets necessarily rigorous regulatory standards for carbon offsetting projects. It follows, therefore, that meeting those standards is not easily accomplished. Many companies who sell offsets have been exposed for intentional fraud, while reputable organizations struggle with finding projects that can attain the strict Gold Standard of quality.
One study shows that a number of effective offset programs had no real impact because they were scheduled to have been implemented even without offset funding.
So, why continue with the buybacks?
Even with such discouraging reports, I will complete my earlier commitment to help fund potentially successful projects. If the legit projects go up in smoke (pardon the polluting expression), then I shall hold on to the fact that even failure may teach us something.
Tomorrow I may say, “Not one penny more,” but not today.