Looking Behind the Curtain of Carbon Offsets

Margaret Kim of Gold Standard takes us down the rabbit hole of what happens after you buy a carbon offset, and what the commitments from corporations to offset emissions actually means for our environmental future.

July 13, 2021

Gold Standard

Gold Standard for the Global Goals sets the standard for climate and development interventions to quantify, certify and maximize their impact- creating value for people around the world and the planet we share.


Lex Kiefhaber, Anthony Noto

Microsoft says it's going carbon negative. You just bought an offset for a flight you're taking (congrats, welcome back). Credit cards have carbon-neutral lifestyle plans in the works. All sounds great, but what does it really mean? And will these offsets actually reduce the amount of carbon they promise? 

This week we speak with Margaret Kim, CEO of GoldStandard.org. Goldstardard is one of the organizations that certifies the carbon offset you just bought is actually going to go to work sequestering, avoiding or otherwise reducing the carbon you paid for. We go down the rabbit hole in to the murky realm of what a carbon credit can entail, how it's changed over the past two decades, and why you shouldn't always be so sure your money is going where you think it is.


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