Five experts including Eric Carlson are featured in the current Seed Magazine on the value of carbon offsets to reduce global carbon emissions. Third-party standards, verification and auditing are the hallmarks of real and high-quality offsets. The key question about a carbon offset is: Is it real, and who says so? Carbon offset providers should offer, and purchasers should look for, offset projects that are third-party verified to the highest international standards and project portfolios that are third-party audited. The annual audit should also be made publicly available. As for cap-and-trade, which is the mechanism to reduce emissions in climate legislation such as the recently passed bill in the House of Representatives, Carlson said, “A cap-and-trade system promotes the most cost-effective carbon reductions, whether internally or externally. Cap-and-trade allows us to tackle climate change in the most cost-effective and fastest way possible.” As the goal of climate legislation is to reduce emissions, where the reductions take place isn’t important, but that they occur. Like the acid rain experience years ago which used a market-based approach successfully, cap-and-trade will reduce emissions sustainably, equivalent to a 2 to 3 percent reduction per year to achieve the over 80% reductions that the country’s aiming for.