Carbon Offsets Daily: Do you think companies should use carbon offsets to mitigate their global warming emissions?
Carolyn Elefant: Companies should first focus on alternative measures to reduce global warming emissions. For example, many companies use offsets to counterbalance the impact of air travel, though in many cases, they could replace the travel with phone communications or webinars. Similarly, for utilities, direct purchases of renewable power will reduce global emissions far more effectively than offsets. To the extent that offsets help fund or subsidize renewable energy, I believe that they are a valuable tool in combating climate change. However, offsets should not be regarded as a free pass for companies to maintain the status quo vis-a-vis their current practices.
These views are my personal views and do not represent an official position of OREC.