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Is flight compensation worth it?

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In recent years, many airlines have phased out the little boxes that encouraged you to “offset your flight emissions!” on their checkout page.maybe because So few customers exploited them, or perhaps because research showed many offset project Ineffective or worse.

But last we checked, People are still flying. a lot of. And the planet is still warming. a lot of. So you may still be wondering: Should I offset my air travel? If so, what to do?

A carbon offset are credits you can buy to offset your emissions.So if you fly from New York to San Francisco, release approx. 1,000 pounds If carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, you can purchase offsets to fund a project that removes or stores an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide elsewhere, typically by planting or protecting trees.

At least that’s the case. But many scientists reject this principle on the grounds that we need to drastically reduce emissions rather than just try to eliminate them.

“Offset is a misnomer,” said Barbara Haya, director of the program Berkeley Carbon Trading Project at the University of California, Berkeley. “It creates a fiction that you can fly and emit greenhouse gases and just pay these cheap credits and it will eliminate your impact.”

Last year, it was estimated $1.7 billion in carbon credits The bonds are issued globally, according to an analysis by global accounting firm KPMG.

The company is working on ways Improve credibility Carbon credits.But Dr. Haya has been studying offsets for more than 20 years, and she says the results so far have been been severe. “Most credits do not represent the emissions reductions they claim,” she said. Other countries have no measurable climate benefits at all.

That’s because measuring the carbon captured by, say, planting a new tree is difficult. Will that tree be planted anyway? What happens if that tree later burns in a wildfire?

John Sterman, Professor at MIT Sloan School of Management, MIT Climate Pathways Project, comparing carbon credits to the magical healing elixirs of the Old West. “I could put anything in that bottle. It’s not just that it might not work – it might downright harmful. This is the goal of our carbon offsets. ” he said. “They are fooling people. “

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