Is it real, and who says so? Real carbon offsets are third-party verified and meet the highest internationally recognized standards. An uncertified project provides no assurances that it is actually doing what you are paying it to do – making the investment inherently risky. One of the leading carbon offset standards is the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS). A wide variety of project types, including reforestation, are verified to this standard because it is an internationally recognized label of quality. Recently it was announced that this standard is getting updated. According to BusinessGreen.com, “Under the new requirements, emission-reduction projects wishing to carry the popular Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) label will have to adhere to more detailed and stringent requirements governing how they achieve third-party verification for their projects… while all VCS-approved projects already require third-party approval from two separate verification bodies, previous guidance on how this should be achieved was open to some interpretation.” Carbonfund.org supports projects that are third-party verified to the highest standards, including North America’s first project to meet both the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards with Gold Distinction and the VCS.