For anyone who has faced the bewildering prospects of buying carbon offsets to make up for their environmental sins, help is here.
The Environmental Defense Fund today launched CarbonOffsetList.org to "help businesses and consumers identify and purchase carbon offsets that represent real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions."
Carbon offsets, while not embraced by all environmentalists, allow consumers to make up in some ways for the pollution caused by flying, driving or buying things. Buying a carbon offset can invest in a project -- the erection of a new wind turbine, the re-planting of a forest, etc. -- that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
But the unregulated market is open to confusing claims and, possibly, outright fraud. How do you know the money you're sending will actually benefit the environment, and not just line someone's pocket?
That's where the EDF's new Web site comes in:
Developed through a rigorous review process in collaboration with a committee of external experts in the fields of science and policy, the website identifies 11 pre-screened, independently verified offset projects that meet Environmental Defense Funds criteria for high-quality carbon offsets. Environmental Defense Funds evaluation focused on the environmental integrity of the projects and whether projects could show verifiable and measurable proof of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The approach focused on finding high-quality emissions reductions regardless of project type, technology or supplier.
Here are the 11 projects EDF identified:
The list will grow over time, as the environmental group adds the result of ongoing research.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.