Note: If you’re not familiar with Roadmaps, we use them to help users navigate dozens of key climate change topics in the Climate Web. Roadmaps come in two flavors - Lite and Premium. You’ll learn more about both in the page below.
In 1988, CEO Roger Sant had a vision. His company, Applied Energy Services (now just AES), planned to build small powerplants around the United States, selling the electricity to local utilities. Roger Sant was environmentally inclined, and was concerned by the fact that the only technology that was economically viable for AES' business model was coal or gas-fired electricity. Sant approached the World Resources Institute in Washington D.C. with the question: "What can AES do to mitigate the climate impacts of building these power plants?" The answer was “offsets,” and working with WRI, AES started "offseting" the emissions of each powerplant it built.
While the fortunes of carbon offset markets, both voluntary and regulated, have fluctuated over time, carbon offsets appear poised for massive expansion as part of corporate efforts to achieve “net zero” emissions. The Climatographers have substantial expertise in the topic of carbon offsets, and almost all relevant topics are covered in-depth in the Climate Web. there are many questions about the future of carbon offsets, and the role carbon offsets will play in corporate and societal efforts to tackle climate change.
- What does the evaluation literature say about the mitigation effectiveness of carbon offsets?
- How will Carbon Offsets Round 2 differ from Round 1?
- Would “scoring” carbon offsets fundamentally change offset markets?
- Why do carbon offsets represent basic hypothesis testing?
- How do carbon offset supplies relate to 2o C policies and measures?
- How will Article 6 of the UNFCCC affect the integrity of carbon offset markets?
- Will natural climate solutions, often facing permanence and leakage challenges, play a big role in future offset markets?
- What will be the role of air capture and related technologies in offset markets?
- What is the relationship of Net Zero objectives to using carbon offsets?
Key Carbon Offset Index Entries include:
- I:CarbonOffsetsGHGOffsets (Deep Dive)
Key Topical Headings for books, reports, and journal articles:
- S - Business Use of Offsets
- S - Carbon Markets
- S - Additionality of Offsets
- S - Carbon Neutrality
- S - Forestry Offsets
- S - Offset Standards
- S - Offset Guides
- S - Offset Evaluations/Critiques
- S - Offset Design
- S - Permanence and Leakage
Key Topical Headings for news and opinion:
- N - Corporate Offset Commitments
- N - Carbon Offsets Round 2
- N - Carbon Offset Critiques
- N - Aviation Offsets
- N - Offset Additionality
- N - Land Use Offsets
- N - Evaluating Carbon Offsets
- N - REDD and REDD+
- N - Voluntary RECs as Offsets
- N - Using Carbon Offsets
Key Topical Headings for extracted materials:
- E - Voluntary Offsets
- E - Land Use Based Offsets
- E - Offset Additionality
- E - Offset Criteria
- E - Principles for Designing Offset Policy
- E - Offset Criticism
- E - Carbon Neutrality
Key Topical Headings for Multimedia:
Key Topical Headings for websites, experts, and more:
Some additional links:
- Video: Additionality - The Achilles Heal of Offset Markets
- Video: Are California's Forestry Offsets Additional?
As a bonus, here are some recent additions to the Climate Web you might find thought-provoking that relate specifically to the topic of this Lite Roadmap. They represent just the smallest sliver of what’s organized in the Climate Web with the goal of facilitating access to your actionable knowledge. Note that links with “$$” sit behind paywalls and we can’t provide direct access. But we are always working to go through those sources to extract key idea and graphics to share under “fair use” rules.
- 2021/6 Ten-fold increase in carbon offset cost predicted
- 2021/5 Voluntary Carbon Markets Have Matured
- 2021/4 The math isn’t adding up on forests and CO2 reductions
- 2021/4 Criticism of carbon offsets doesn't acknowledge changes to how projects are approved, monitored
- 2021/4 Carbon offsetting is one step towards Net Zero
- 2021/4 Carbon Offsets Are About To Become A Huge Market
- 2021/3 Is the ‘Legacy’ Carbon Credit Market a Climate Plus or Just Hype?
- 2021/3 Insider - 3 Tips for Companies Navigating the Use of Carbon Credits from Nature
- 2021/3 Big Oil’s Net-Zero Plans Show the Hard Limits of Carbon Offsets
- 2021/2 Shell to expand gas business despite pledge to speed up net zero carbon drive
- 2021/2 Carbon offsets gird for lift-off as big money gets close to nature
- 2021/1 US' Occidental supplies first cargo of 'carbon-neutral crude' to India's Reliance
NOTE: Accessing the Climate Web via Roadmap hyperlinks can be a bit disconcerting if you’re not familiar with TheBrain software’s basic functionality, which you can explore via the Basic Navigation link at right. If you do explore some of the links, please remember that Open Access to the Climate Web (via the cloud) is both much slower and less powerful than Premium Access to the Climate Web (which allows you to download the Climate Web to your computer AND take advantage of TheBrain’s superior desktop and mobile softwares).
To clearly see the differences between a Lite Topical Roadmap and a Premium Topical Roadmap, you can take a look at both versions of the Under-Estimating Climate Risks Roadmap:
The Premium Carbon Offsets Roadmap digs much deeper into the topics already flagged at the top of this page, among others. Representing hundreds of hours of research and knowledge curation, the Premium Roadmap links together together explanatory prose, topical headings, individual sources and news stories, curated topical dashboards for exploring key topics, and even individual ideas and graphics the Climatographers have extracted from a wide range of key sources. The Premium Carbon Offsets Roadmap covers topics including:
- The history of carbon offsets since 1988
- Testing for offset “additionality”
- The role of offsets in the aviation and maritime sectors
- The likelihood of “false positives” in offset markets?
- Carbon offset projects and providers
- Carbon offset mitigation potentials
- Carbon offset critiques
To get beyond Carbon Offsets 101, and to take advantage of today’s collective knowledge when it comes to carbon pricing: access the Carbon Offsets Premium Roadmap here.
Alternatively, if you’re interested in a webinar or brainstorming session, or a customized topical Dashboard or Roadmap relating to carbon offsets, contact us!
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