With 2 billion new people expected on the planet by 2050, mostly in the developing world, fast growing nations now drive the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions and present environmental sustainability issues. In this university podcast, Richard Morse, research associate at the Stanford’s Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, discusses carbon offsets as a way to engage the developing world in climate change mitigation.

Morse demonstrates how difficult offsets are to implement in a way that unequivocally generates real additional emission reductions. He draws the lessons from the largest worldwide carbon offset experiment, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), one of the three market-based mechanisms established under the Kyoto Protocol as a means of allowing the industrialized countries to meet their national targets by investing in carbon reduction projects in developing countries. Morse was talking at the 2010 Climate Policy Instruments in the Real World conference, an event convened by the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD) at Stanford University.