Carbon offset markets gain traction

In the absence of global action to tackle climate change, regional states across the world have chosen to create their own solutions.

In the US, California, Oklahoma and Oregon have established guidelines that encourage emission trading.

In Oklahoma, agriculture firms participate in a voluntary carbon offset credit program that benefits both landowners and the state’s grasslands. Industry appreciates that participation is optional, but those companies that pledge emission reductions are certified by the state as employing efficient management practices.

California and Oregon opted to require emission reductions from large, stationary sources such as power plants and fuel refineries. California expects to generate an additional $1 billion in state revenue from its sale of carbon allowances and offsets.

Internationally, Canadian provinces including Quebec are engaging in the Western Climate Initiative to create a North American carbon market in coordination with California. Australia also recently launched its own offset market.

These milestones mark a shift in the public perception of carbon offsets. Where at first there was skepticism, offsets are now being embraced as a reliable method to address climate change. So reliable in fact that state and national governments around the globe are taking advantage of their economic and environmental benefits.