CarbonClick

Everything Everyone Needs to Know About carbon offset

A carbon offset credit is a credit that an individual or organization can purchase to reduce its carbon footprint. Carbon-neutral is a person or an organization that has earned enough carbon offset credits to equal their CarbonClick. Revenue generated from the purchase of carbon offsets is often but not always invested in environmentally friendly projects, like investments in green computing technologies. More generally, carbon offsetting is any reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to make up for emissions that occur elsewhere. carbon offset credits show that an organization or person has reduced its emissions. The term carbon offset is used to describe both the credit and the act of carbon offsetting.

Organizations and individuals pursue carbon offsetting voluntarily or to comply with regulations. A broker can help remove some carbon from the atmosphere. This is often done in another region of the globe. A customer determines their emission level and then the broker charges a fee. The broker will then invest some of the money in a project to reduce carbon emissions. CheatNeutral may be tongue-in-cheek but the indulgence and cheating analogies have both become de facto arguments against carbon offsetting.

A carbon offset credit can be a transferable instrument that has been certified by governments or other certification bodies as representing an emission reduction of 1 metric tonnes of CO2 or the equivalent amount of GHGs (see text box below). An offset credit can be “retired” by the buyer to obtain the reduction toward their GHG reduction goals.

The key concept is that offset credits are used to convey a net climate benefit from one entity to another. It doesn’t matter where GHGs are reduced, as they mix in the atmosphere globally. Climate change is a view that the effects of an organization’s emission-causing activity will not differ from the effect of enabling an equivalent emission-reducing activity elsewhere in the world. carbon offsets make it more affordable and easier for organizations to pursue the second option.

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