“The Problem is not ‘Bad Baselines’ but the Concept of Counterfactual Baselines Itself”
An Exchange about Offset Markets

by Larry Lohmann

first published 18 October 2016

All carbon offsets, biodiversity offsets, water offsets and so forth are premised on the idea that there can be criteria for distinguishing between “additional” and “nonadditional” projects. But there can be no such criteria.

Hence saying that an offset project is unjustifiable because it is "nonadditional" is nonsense. If there is no such thing as additionality, there is no such thing as nonadditionality either. No single offset project could ever be verified to be either helping or harming climatic stability. Therefore offsets in the aggregate must be worsening climate change.

Almost all academic "critics" of REDD have so far failed to communicate this reality.

This post on the REDD-Monitor site -- https://redd-monitor.org/2016/10/18/larry-lohmann-the-problem-is-not-bad... -- introduces this issue, which is fundamental to the "net zero", "carbon zero", and Nature-Based Solutions fads now sweeping the globe. Several replies to the argument are included.