NY will bar polluter-friendly ‘offsets’ in planned carbon market

By Anne C. Mulkern | 06/17/2024 06:24 AM EDT

The state won’t let companies exceed emission limits by funding climate projects in other states or countries, unlike California and Washington.

Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is behind a new carbon market in her state that would prohibit controversial “offsets” for polluters. Adrian Kraus/AP

New York is creating the nation’s third statewide carbon market and will bar a business-friendly practice that lets polluters meet emissions mandates by funding environmental projects in other states or countries.

Empire State officials said their system will not have an “offset” program that allows polluters in a carbon market that can’t meet state emissions limits to comply by funding climate-related projects such as tree-planting in Indonesia.

California and Washington have robust offset programs in their carbon markets — also known as cap-and-trade programs — that have helped polluters comply with state emissions standards.


But New York says offsets could hurt communities with facilities likely to be regulated under the program, which are often in areas that have high pollution levels and vulnerable populations.