Carbon offsets still booming despite financial crisis
The carbon-offset market in the United States is still booming despite the financial crisis, with offset sellers reporting continued gains even in the face of rising offset prices. Analysts say the carbon market’s relative strength could mean consumers’ green guilt knows no bounds or that the country’s recent economic troubles have not hit most would-be offset buyers — typically college-educated upper-middle-class folks — as hard as others. Offsets have also remained popular among businesses as an easy way to buy a slice of sustainability and boost the ol’ public image. “This is an issue that a lot of people care about,” said Christina Page of Yahoo!, which currently spends some $2 million a year to offset its emissions. Overall, corporations purchased some 80 percent of U.S. carbon offsets last year at a price of about $6 a ton. However, despite the relative strength of the U.S. offset market now, the industry is eventually predicted to decline somewhat. When it does, offset purveyors said the climate could also take a hit since offsets invest money in projects to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.