Carbon offsetting can have some laudable goals, including protection of the most pristine resources left on earth. As a category, however, carbon offsetting and markets are inappropriate international solutions to climate change and environmental degradation. The two current carbon offsetting mechanisms have dubious environmental value and maintain destructive behavior rather than addressing current emissions. Climate change is an example of a collective action problem, where benefits are diffuse, creating little incentive for individual nations to act. This renders carbon offsetting programs particularly susceptible to free riders.
Fejka, Silvia. "Offsetting Programs: Struggling to Find an Equitable Solution Internationally." Sustainable Development Law & Policy 12, no. 2 (2012): 38-39, 67.