A new analysis by ProPublica casts grave doubts upon one of the world’s more popular ways to fight climate change: carbon offsets in tropical rainforests. Polluters pay to preserve forests, which absorb CO2 and store it as long as the trees live. Looking at a variety of indicators, including aerial images, the author found that some “protected” forests are completely barren, while others are severely depleted or degraded by previously undetected small-scale development.
How are industrialized nations reacting? The European Union prohibits such tropical forest offsets, while California environmental regulators are now considering them.
Read OZY’s feature on how trees are absorbing more carbon.