Industrial flare (c) Pruscha, Fotolia

Amongst all the possible responses to climate change few topics are as hotly debated and controversial as offsetting. So it was with interest that I read the recently released “Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting”.

This is a brief (12-page) document produced by a number of collaborators from a range of disciplines and schools in the University of Oxford. Its objective is to redefine best practice for offsetting as we aim for net-zero emissions and beyond.

The question in my mind is will I recommend to my clients that they adopt these principles?

While I do have some practical concerns about these principles, as described below, I would strongly recommend my fellow climate change and sustainability practitioners look at these and contribute to the debate about what offsetting is and should achieve.