Tag Archive for carbon offsetting

The Ethics of Carbon Offsets

logo_SantaClaraThe Pope is not alone in his urgency; as the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rise, countries, companies, colleges, and individuals are pledging carbon neutrality. Like many universities, Santa Clara University has a “carbon neutral by the end of 2015” goal, but is meeting the goal enough? As a Jesuit institution, we are called to examine the ethics of the neutrality commitment, and our impressive sustainability goals give us the unique opportunity to influence how other Jesuit and Catholic schools take action on climate change. Carbon offsetting, a common aspect of many carbon neutrality commitments, presents us with an ethical dilemma: Can we pay others to forgive our pollution? As SCU moves forward in our commitment, we must ask ourselves two questions: first, whether we should purchase carbon offsets, and second, what type of offsetting techniques we should fund.