Are carbon offsets too good to be true? Haya suggests caution in Time

Exhaust fumes from an industrial chimney.

Barbara Haya, a research fellow with CITRIS Climate and the California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE) and director of the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project, says carbon offsets typically do not provide their alleged climate benefits.

According to Haya, carbon offsets raise the issue of what climate economists call additionality, where it is difficult to discern whether resulting climate benefits actually stem from their purchase.

In an Oct. 21 article in Time magazine, Haya recommends avoiding offset purchases. As an alternative, she advises donating directly to climate-positive causes to get past the “middlemen” in the carbon offset business.