The quality of offset projects refers to issues that may improve or hinder the likelihood of the project truly delivering a reduction in green house gases. Here are some factors to consider in determining the quality of offset projects:
The early days of carbon offsetting were characterised by large variations in project quality. The lack of legislation or clear standards in this area allowed project developers to make unsubstantiated claims presenting the uninformed buyer with the risk of paying for unverified environmental benefits. Fortunately, over the last two years, much progress has been made in developing carbon offset standards. These international standards ensure that projects are of the highest quality and that any claims that they make are substantiated and documented by certified authorities (more on Project Standards).