It is something I’ve researched quite significantly. I don’t personally see how paying to plant a few trees every month, or making small financial contributions towards the development of renewable infrastructures kind of doesn’t help the planet. The only qualm I really have is in the terminology of offsetting because that’s not how I view it.
Reducing your carbon footprint only does so much, and doesn’t give back. As regular people I think it’s next to impossible to live carbon positively, or even neutrally, without also doing stuff to actively give back to the planet, either through carbon offsetting, or investing. The onus is on governments and business to enable the possibility of living carbon neutrally. For now, offsetting programs are an easy collective way to give back. I support them, but despise the fact they exist, because they shouldn’t be necessary.