Frequently asked questions (and answers)

Questions about carbon offsetting

When you have completed your payment, you will receive a receipt and a certificate which certifies your purchase of carbon offsets and the volume we have cancelled in the registry.

The money is invested in a climate-friendly project which would not have occurred without the financing from carbon offsets. Often the project is within renewable energy, for example building and operating a new wind farm where coal was previously used. The are also projects which increase energy efficiency, for example replacing cooking over old wood stoves to newer, energy efficient stoves. Many projects contribute not only to a better climate locally and globally, but also contribute socially to the area where the investment occurs. For example, some projects contribute to job creation, improved schools and infrastructure in the surrounding area.

For each ton of carbon dioxide you offset, we ensure that the same amount of carbon dioxide is officially cancelled (in the Union Registry or Markit) from the specific project you have chosen.

It is difficult to answer exactly how much of the money goes to the project itself, because many factors weigh in, including certification, volume, delivery method, trading system, the year the credits were created, etc. In short, the margin when higher volumes of carbon offsets are purchased can be somewhere in the range of 20-30%.

On a monthly basis, we add up all of the purchases. We round up the total amount to the nearest ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, and allocate the same amount of tons in emissions reductions from our project portfolio according to each specific order. This allocation usually happens within one to five weeks of your purchase. We then cancel this allocation in the relevant registry of emissions reductions (either the UN registry or Markit depending on the project’s certification). The system ensures that your money has purchased the same amount of emissions reductions that have been cancelled.

Questions about calculations and pricing 

Many airlines’ calculators and other calculation tools do not take into account all greenhouse gases, only carbon dioxide. Our calculation method for flights takes into all of the 6 common greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride). These are calculated to carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). Therefore, the emissions are often lower if you ask an airline than if you ask us.

Many flight calculators also fail to take the “high-altitude effect” into account. The scientific fact is that flights at high altitude have a larger impact on the climate. Because of the high complexity it is not known exactly how large that effect is. We use the factor stated to most likely by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which means multiplying emissions at high altitude by 2.7.

Read more about our calculation methodology.

When it comes to pricing, the pricing for the project and the tons of CO2e you are offsetting are linked to the quality of the carbon offset projects. Read more about our projects here. Our projects are carefully selected and of the highest quality, usually with not only one but two certifications, such as the UN and Gold Standard.

When you carbon offset, you are buying an actual emissions reduction and we cancel the corresponding amount of carbon dioxide for you. Both the actual carbon offsets and our services including the purchase and cancelling of the corresponding amount of emissions are subject to VAT in all EU countries. In other words, you aren’t buying charity, but a taxable service, comparable to your local waste disposal provider.

The price you pay is calculated from a price per ton and and the calculated emissions in carbon dioxide equivalents. The price per ton depends on a variety of factors. The largest factor is of course the cost of carrying out the underlying project (e.g. the wind farm), but other factors include certification costs (from the UN, VCS, Gold Standard, etc.) and project audits carried out by an independent third party. As the projects in the portfolio change, the prices change over time.

More questions

No. We are a “for-profit” company and carbon offsets are taxed as a value-added service, not as a tax-exempt charity activity. We live in a market economy and we believe in market forces. We are driven by doing business and growing as a company and getting more people and businesses to carbon offset!

Carbon offsets are sometimes compared to medieval indulgences, which supposedly allowed people to purchase forgiveness for sins. That is not the way it works. To carbon offset is a parallel course of action that you do at the same time you reduce your emissions and creates an incentive to reduce emissions. At the same time it creates emissions reductions are created elsewhere where it is currently easier to reduce the same amount of emissions.

We urge everyone to first reduce their emissions, but to fully take responsibility for their impact on the climate and also carbon offset!

Tricorona Climate Partner AB owns, operates and develops carbonoffsetnow.com

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