A way to buy your way out?
Carbon offsetting reduces global warming.
Our actions often cause emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which in turn contribute to global warming and climate change. To counteract this, we must all take responsibility for the climate and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. But reducing our emissions is often a process that takes time and requires a shift at a societal level.
To take responsibility for the emissions you cause in spite of your efforts, you can carbon offset. To purchase carbon offsets means that you pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions somewhere else for the same amount for which you are compensating. You can see it as paying someone to take care of your waste instead of throwing it out into nature.
We work with carbon offset projects with the highest standards – including certifications from the UN and/or Gold Standard. Read more about the different certifications below.
The money is invested in a climate-friendly project which would not have occurred without the financing from carbon offsets. The projects are often within renewable energy, for example building a wind powerplant where coal energy was previously used. There are also projects that improve energy efficiency, for example replacing cooking over old wood ovens with newer energy efficient stoves. Many projects contribute not only to a better climate locally and globally, but also contribute socially to the area where they are investing. For example, some projects create job opportunities and improved schools and infrastructure in the surrounding areas.
We challenge everyone to first reduce their emissions, then to take full responsibility for their impact on the climate by carbon offsetting! Read our climate smart tips here.
Certification for carbon offsets
CDM projects fulfill the Kyoto Protocol’s criteria for continuously quantifying climate benefits. The audit is conducted by independent auditors who report on the project to the UN. The most central criteria in the UNs evaluation is “additionality”; the project would not have existed without CDM and the money from carbon offsets.
Each CDM project is continuously reviewed to calculate the actual emissions reductions during the current period, after which the UN issues reduction certificates called CERs (Certified Emission Reductions). These certificates are accounted for in an international registration system, with unique serial numbers, which means that each CER is traceable to the project that created it. The certificate thus proves that the supplier has created the climate benefit that the customer has ordered. The certificate is then cancelled in the international registry, which means that the certificate is irrevocably forfeited and cannot be used again.
CDM projects are often investments in renewable energy. An example of a CDM project could be a wind farm in China, where a large amount of today’s energy demand is supplied from coal power with a large impact on the climate. CDM projects also contribute to sustainable development in the country of implementation and give positive effects both social and economically, as well as environmentally.
Gold Standard was presented as a quality stamp for carbon offset projects that certifies strict compliance with additional requirements for social responsibility and sustainable development.
Gold Standard is a global non-profit foundation and is the only certification standard approved and trusted by more than 80 international environmental organizations, including WWF International and Greenpeace International. The projects are also monitored by an independent technical advisory committee and controlled by independent auditors. The certification process requires a great deal of involvement from local stakeholders and organizations. Examples of social responsibility include that the climate compensation projects create jobs for the local population, contribute to the local schools or improve the infrastructure in the area.
Gold Standard is a common procurement requirement for public procurement of CDM projects. Gold Standard verifies both CDM and VER projects. For more information about Gold Standard: www.goldstandard.org