Carbon offsetting is mostly a scam. The term needs to be reserved only for projects that:

a) increase net carbon sinks when taking into account the entire lifecycle emissions from construction and maintenance,
b) can be completed without violating any other planetary boundaries (biodiversity, fresh water, chemical pollution, etc), and
c) would not happen on their own without the offsetting project.

So reforestation of destroyed land, and almost nothing else.


@ttiurani Reforestation of burnt forests happens quite quickly without lifting a finger. Stopping harmful land use is challenging.

Compensate Oy has some interesting projects with the soil as carbon sink, needs more research.

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@nemobis Indeed, ran out of characters there: with "destroyed" I meant land eroded to the point of natural recovery is (near) impossible.

@ttiurani Right. I think an example might be the peatland work in the UK, where a lot can be done simply by reversing some artificial water management and then letting nature follow its course.

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