The San Francisco Carbon Fund

Announced this week by Mayor Newsom, the city of San Francisco will begin selling Carbon Offsets to local businesses. Read the full press release here: Mayor Newsom Unveils First-Ever City Carbon Offsets to Fight Global Warming.

“Globally, the market for carbon offsets is growing rapidly, estimated to top $10 billion by 2010, and there is absolutely no regulation,” said Jared Blumenfeld, director of San Francisco’s Environment Department. “However, by developing our own program and funding local projects, we have the ability to assure that the offsets actually happen, benefit the local community, and help achieve our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals.”

Unfortunately programs like this are largely seen as postponing the real expense and effort of transition into a more environmentally sensible practice.

It’s commendable that this administration is taking steps to incent local business to be more green, but many environmentalist do not believe that offsets are a sound incentive for orienting businesses into more green practices. E.g. why build a LEED certified office space when a business can buy offsets?

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