Carbon Offsetting – Are There Any Flaws With This Type of Climate Change Compensation?
Carbon offsetting is a method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that should be considered by all companies engaged in business in the environment. Thus, companies who use Carbon offsetting as a way of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions should do so in a manner that is compatible with the needs of society and the need to preserve the planet. One of the benefits of Carbon neutral is that it reduces the total amount of Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by allowing companies to buy allowances from emitters. However, there are also some drawbacks associated with Carbon offsetting as well.
First, Carbon offsetting may not be the best option to combat climate change. While it may reduce greenhouse gas emissions, these emissions do not go directly into the air and do not stay there. They are emitted into the soil and water. So, although Carbon offsetting allows companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, they do so at the cost of damaging the environment. It also means that companies cannot offset their use of certain energy sources which may cause negative repercussions on the climate. In addition, companies may not be able to take advantage of certain renewable sources of energy which can also reduce global warming because these sources emit Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.
On the other hand, there is also a drawback in the benefits of Carbon offsetting as well. There are a lot of people who are against it because of the disadvantages that it entails. For example, this method has been criticized because of the fact that it costs money. It is a major drain on a company’s resources, thus if a company is compelled to buy these allowances, it may mean the complete or partial collapse of the company. Also, there is the fact that voluntary Carbon market has been viewed skeptically by some because of the fact that there is no real control over the amount of allowances that companies buy.
This leads people to the conclusion that Carbon offsetting is not the right method for reducing global warming because it could cost too much and does not benefit the environment. To substantiate this point, one must look into the flawed incentives that are incorporated into this system. For instance, there is no cap on the amount of Carbon a company could buy which means that companies could increase their purchases of allowances and still be able to offset them. There is also no control as to how these allowances are used by companies. In effect, there is no cap as to the overall Carbon reduction that companies may achieve through Carbon offsetting and this may lead to all sorts of environmental problems.
On top of all this, another major flaw of Carbon-based offsetting is that it only benefits certain industries. For instance, it benefits big oil companies that have a major impact on global warming. While this method may allow these companies to lessen their greenhouse gas emissions, they still have other problems. For instance, they cannot increase production as freely as they do with traditional means like coal because there is no cap on the amount of Carbon that these large scale industries can emit.