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THE QUESTION

Do carbon offsets still matter?

The idea of selling "offsets" for greenhouse-gas pollution seems to be losing some steam -- at least in the U.S. A recent media report said the demand for them is slackening, thanks to the economy, to the failed attempts at creating a sweeping international climate accord in Copenhagen, and to the gridlock on climate on Capitol Hill. Do you think offsets still ought to be part of wide-scale efforts to tackle climate change, either in the U.S. or around the world?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on March 18, 2010 11:10 PM
FROM THE PANEL

The importance of offsets

There is no doubt that demand for offsets is slipping as room within the EU Trading System for them is limited and uncertainly prevails over the future of cap-and-trade systems outside the EU. Falling prices means less project activity, bringing...

Posted by David Hone, on March 23, 2010 8:19 AM

Let's not 'off' offsets just yet

I don't know what position Gertrude Stein might have taken on global warming, but I am certain that she would have grasped the concept of offsets: after all, a ton of CO2 is a ton of CO2 is a ton...

Posted by Pam Faggert, on March 20, 2010 8:42 AM

Economy is too large for offsets

Emission offsets are elegant in theory but ugly in practice. They prove that what is appealing in a scholarly paper might have a lot less appeal and practicality when attempted in practice.

Posted by William O'Keefe, on March 19, 2010 2:20 PM

Offsets must ensure environmental integrity, reduce emissions

Offsets should continue to be part of the global and U.S. solutions to addressing climate change as long as they ensure environmental integrity and reflect real reductions in emissions.

Posted by Ned Helme, on March 19, 2010 12:00 PM

Offsets can build momentum for a global effort

Carbon offsets are interesting for three interrelated reasons.

Posted by Lars G. Josefsson, on March 19, 2010 12:00 PM

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