Even if you haven’t flown in a while, you might remember this scenario: you’re booking a trip, and just before the payment screen, they hit you with one of the great ethical questions of our time.
Are you willing to pay a bit more to offset the greenhouse gas emissions you’re likely to expend getting from point A to B?
On a grander scale, countries—and companies the size of countries—are faced with much the same question. But even though institutionalizing carbon offsets could create much-needed incentives for faster climate action, they remain underutilized.
So whether you’re concerned with the slow progress on global emission targets or pondering your own carbon footprint, here’s how carbon offsets could help.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified two major climate mitigation imperatives to keep global temperatures within a safer range:
Eliminating excess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be easier for some emitters than others. Consider that technological advances have improved the cars we drive faster than the planes we fly, for example.