Image shows blue sky with green high rise buildings shrouded in trees, like an urban forest

John Sterman on multisolving for effective offsets

In an op-ed published by Market Watch, John Sterman of MIT Sloan includes multisolving on his list of criteria that carbon offset programs must meet to effectively combat climate change

“Many offset programs are based on dubious assumptions,” Sterman argues. “To truly cut emissions, offsets must be AVID+: Additional, Verifiable, Immediate, Durable , and help meet other societal goals (the “plus”).”

Additional, meaning offsetting emissions that would not be reduced in another way. Verifiable, meaning accurately calculating the offset emissions. Immediate, meaning implementing the program now, rather than in the next decade. Durable, meaning ensuring that emission offsets hold up overtime and do not reenter the atmosphere.  

Multisolving is the plus, all the things that would be better in a world effectively combatting climate change.

As Sterman says, “[O]ffsets should multisolve. They should advance other worthy goals in addition to their climate benefits, such as job creation, poverty reduction, or improved health. Tree planting is commonly done by establishing monocultures of fast-growing species instead of mimicking the natural forests that spur recreation, hunting, fishing, and tourism or support traditional ways of life for Indigenous people.”

Read the full article here.

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