What is Carbon Offsetting?
Each of our everyday actions consumes
energy and produces carbon dioxide emissions e.g. taking holiday
flights, driving our cars, heating or cooling our homes and offices.
Carbon Offsets can be used to compensate for the emissions produced
by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving somewhere else.
Offsetting provides a mechanism to reduce GHG emissions in the most cost-effective and economically-efficient manner. Offsetting plays a vital role in combating climate change, but is not alone, the solution. Climate change will only be addressed if each and every one of us takes responsible steps to REDUCE our CO2 emissions as much as possible and offset the remaining unavoidable emissions.
What does CO2-e or carbon dioxide equivalent mean?
There are several different
greenhouse gases (e.g. methane) as well as carbon dioxide and each
has a different strength of effect on global warming. Carbon dioxide
equivalent takes into account the different global warming potential
of different greenhouse gases and expresses the cumulative effect in
a common unit. Carbon dioxide equivalent is calculated by
multiplying the actual mass of emissions by the appropriate Global
Warming Potential (GWP) factor. This enables emissions of different
gases to be added together and compared with carbon dioxide.
Carbon credits represent greenhouse gas
emissions either being prevented from entering the atmosphere or
reabsorbed from the atmosphere from projects such as improved
technology or forest planting. Usually measured in tonnes of carbon
dioxide equivalent, they form a basic unit/tradeable commodity of a
carbon market. A carbon credit is sometimes also defined to
represent a carbon reduction that is independently accredited to
ensure that a tonne of CO2 equivalent from one project is the same
as a tonne of CO2 equivalent from another project so they can be
The term ‘carbon credit’ is sometimes used interchangeably with
The result of reducing the emissions generated from an activity or entity to zero through a combination of measures including:
One tonne of carbon offset activity
represents one tonne of CO2-e (carbon dioxide equivalent) that has
been reduced from the atmosphere and believed to accelerate climate
change. Purchasing carbon offsets helps to channel funding towards
new industries and energy solutions required for a low carbon world.
There is no single solution to preventing and slowing climate change. Purchasing carbon offsets is one part of a wider range of initiatives which includes:
Want to know more about purchasing Carbon Offsets contact Origin