I don’t understand carbon offsetting apps

I don’t understand carbon offsetting apps

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In 2020 several carbon-offsetting subscription apps went to the market. The most prominent in Germany are Klima and Tomorrow’s Zero. But why use a carbon-offsetting app when it is cheaper and tax-deductible at transparent non-profits like atmosfair.

More importantly, I don’t believe that mass carbon offsetting is helpful to combat climate change. It’s just kicking the can down the road. We need a significant reduction in every area where CO2 is currently emitted. Carbon-offsetting apps might help to finance this change in some areas, but conversely, it enables consumers to justify changing nothing, and, according to the Harding & Rapson (2013) rebound effect, possibly even increasing emissions in the long run.

From a business point of view, I understand that a subscription model is easier to monetize. It is much harder to monetize helping consumers to actually cut their carbon footprint by, for example, reducing their animal food consumption or changing their modes of transport. While I understand that money makes the world go around, shouldn’t businesses today be evolving to find models that add value for the consumer, businesses, but more importantly combat climate change?

What do you think? Am I missing something about carbon offsetting?

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