Carbon forest offsets—the system by which an organization can compensate for its carbon footprint by funding projects that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere—have received a lot of attention in recent weeks. Allegations suggest that such projects are meaningless or amount to “greenwashing.” With the increase in devastating weather patterns, droughts, and heat extremes, it is surprising that we are having this debate.
I have dedicated my life to supporting efforts to tackle climate change through the use of technology and carbon extraction combined with massive increases in the vegetation cover on the planet. I have seen the impact and the results. I can say with confidence that carbon forest offset programs are by far the best tool we have right now to preserve forests and wildlife, protect Indigenous communities, and generate the rainfall we need to tackle climate change.
Carbon forest offsets are a mechanism used to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Forests act as natural carbon sinks, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. The idea behind carbon forest offsets is that individuals, companies, or governments that want to compensate for their own carbon footprint can effectively “neutralize” their emissions by investing in projects that remove or reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.