To that end, Reuters took at look at carbon offset companies like Atmosfair, TerraPass, e-BlueHorizons, CO2 Balance, Climate Care and the Carbon Neutral Company last week as part of their special environment reporting. To quote from the article on just how difficult it is for individuals to understand exactly what these companies are offering, "some carbon-offset brokers do not verify their emissions cuts through a third party, or else sell cuts that have not happened yet, or sell offsets not directly linked to emissions cuts at all."
Thanks to some new U.N.-sponsored Kyoto Protocol regulated carbon trading standards, though, there might soon be clarity in this dirty mess. The key is figuring our if the offset actually causes emissions cuts by providing financial incentives, instead of counting on emissions cuts that would would have happened anyway. Check out Reuters for the details.