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Carbon Offset Sales Growing While Economy Sags?

The Washington Post has this article on the growing market for offset sales despite the economic downturn:

"This is an issue that a lot of people care about," said Christina Page of California-based Yahoo!, which spent about $2 million to offset emissions from its electricity use and from employees' commutes and air travel. One motivation was marketing, Page said. "It does attract people," she said.

The NY Times' Green Inc. blog also comments on this article, primarily on the additionality issues raised in the WaPo article. Most interesting is the first comment of the blog post, which has an interesting opinion on why offset sales are surging:

The article is all about consumer “green guilt,” which — unsurprisingly — is not what’s really driving the market. Neither are corporate PR efforts, although, as the article notes, 80% of offset purchases are made by corporations.

Rather, prices are rising because of a growing “pre-compliance” market. Businesses expect that comprehensive climate change legislation will be passed soon. In fact, for many corporations, climate change legislation is already a reality. RGGI just came online in the northeastern states. WCI is moving ahead rapidly in the west. So business are looking at the regulatory landscape and getting a head start on managing their compliance efforts by purchasing offsets.
- Adam Stein, cofounder of Terrapass


Category: Carbon Market
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