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Federal Government Unveils New Guidelines to Enhance Integrity of Carbon Offsets

The Biden administration has introduced a set of federal guidelines to bolster confidence in carbon offsets, a tool for combating climate change. These guidelines aim to ensure that carbon offsets are effective and reliable in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Brad Plumer reports for The New York Times.

Main Points

  • The guidelines define “high-integrity” offsets as those providing real, additional, and quantifiable emissions reductions.
  • Businesses are urged to prioritize reducing emissions within their own supply chains before purchasing offsets.
  • The guidelines aim to support the growth of high-quality voluntary carbon markets.
  • Voluntary carbon markets are viewed as essential for mobilizing private capital to fight climate change.

Key Quote

“Voluntary carbon markets can help unlock the power of private markets to reduce emissions, but that can only happen if we address significant existing challenges,” said Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen.


The new federal guidelines for carbon offsets represent a significant step toward improving the integrity and effectiveness of carbon offsetting as a climate tool. By addressing key criticisms and establishing robust standards, these guidelines aim to enhance the credibility and impact of carbon offsets, ultimately contributing to more effective climate action.

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