Are carbon offsets a joke? A response to comedian John Oliver

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Oliver also left viewers thinking that offsets are only ever used to greenwash, which again ignores what’s actually happening. Many companies follow best practice on offsets — see the Oxford Offsetting Principles, for example — and prioritize science-based emissions reductions above use of offsets. If offsets are used to go above and beyond such targets, the money spent on the credits is not dissimilar to an internal carbon tax: The spending creates an additional incentive to search for further internal emissions savings, particularly as the price of offsets increases.

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