Offsetting isn't a complete and total "fix" to the climate mess, and it isn't intended to be. Poorly implemented, it may even become the ploy the pope worries about. But done right, it's an incredibly effective tool in a very large toolbox, yet it will only deliver on a large scale if it's embedded in a functional, well-regulated, and global climate-change response.
It's a challenge faced by forest people around the world, and one that impacts all of us. Indeed, the loss of pristine forest in the tropics and its blow to biodiversity and ecosystem services are massive and irreversible. To make matters even worse, carbon emissions from deforestation compound the problem of climate change.
Two days after posting what may be the first rap song about ecosystem services, spoken-word artist Prince Ea has drawn nearly 25 million visitors to the video of his song "Sorry", which begins as a hypothetical apology to future generations but mutates into a call to action inspired by visits to forest carbon projects in Africa.
Forests have a critical role to play in the fight against global climate change. Forest loss accounts for up to 20 percent of global carbon emissions -- more than all the cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships in the world. By reducing forest loss, we can reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. It's that simple.