Not all carbon offsets are a scam—but many still are — Quartz

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As more companies commit to erasing their climate footprint, the global market for voluntary carbon offset credits is going gangbusters. But the market remains plagued by widespread, fundamental flaws in how offsets are tallied, turning a critical element of the corporate campaign against climate change into a house built on sand.

Carbon offsets are derived from activities that draw carbon out of the atmosphere—forest conservation is the most common—and ostensibly allow their purchasers to move toward decarbonization while continuing to produce an equivalent volume of emissions. Oil companies, airlines, and other high-emitting sectors have touted the purchase of offsets as a promising way to make immediate progress on climate while technology catches up and the fossil fuel market winds down. In early May, for example, the US gas company Cheniere Energy said it had sold a “carbon-neutral” shipment of liquified natural gas to Royal Dutch…

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