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How Can You Offset Your Carbon Emissions?

Global warming is an issue that has led to intense and interminable debates. It’s one of the biggest threat facing humans today. Some believed that global warming was a hoax that was created by some of the world’s leaders to stop further extraction and usage from fossil fuels. However, the effects have become apparent today with changes in the weather patterns that can lead to major crop failures, and the possibility of more devastating storms, rising sea levels that are threatening to submerge entire islands and displace millions of people, and widespread destruction of both animal and plant species and the loss of coral reefs. The main cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels that produce huge amounts of greenhouse gasses. Examples of greenhouse gases are Carbon dioxide and methane fluorinated gases and nitrous oxide like perfluorocarbons trifluoride, sulfur Hexafluoride and hydrofluorocarbons.

To ensure that life can continue to thrive on planet earth to sustain, the proper balance of carbon dioxide needs to be maintained in the atmospheric. This is achieved by neutralizing the excess carbon dioxide released into atmosphere through human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, driving vehicles or using household appliances and even heating and cooling homes. Yet, regardless of the level of commitment we make, it’s impossible to eliminate all emissions that create our carbon footprint. This is where carbon offsets come into play.

Carbon offsets are schemes designed to counterbalance or green our carbon footprint. They can be purchased carbon offsets from carbon credits trading exchange businesses. Simply put, carbon offsets are greenhouse gas cutbacks accumulated by an individual or a company that are able to be purchased and utilized to offset(compensate) the emissions produced by another person or entity. Carbon offsets typically are measured as tons or CO2-equivalents commonly abbreviated as CO2e. A single carbon offset can be thought of as the reduction by one metric ton carbon dioxide. They can be purchased and sold through intermediaries, traditional sites, global brokers and online retailers.

In other words, carbon offset is nothing but investing in projects to reduce the emission of CO2 or greenhouse gases to reduce their carbon footprint in a bid to save the world from catastrophic climate changes. Carbon offsetting is a kind way to control damage. To compensate for the carbon pollution that is deadly, business or individuals buy carbon offsets, which means that the emissions of Carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases that harm the environment are controlled and reduced elsewhere. You can calculate your carbon footprint here.

Carbon Offsetting projects aim to reduce the amount of CO2 or the greenhouse gas (GHG) that are released into the atmosphere. The outcomes of these projects could be immediate or long-term, depending on the nature of the project. Let us take unconventional sources of energy or alternative energy sources. When we look at the investment in wind farms or hydro-power plants installed at dams these are nothing more than investment in reducing carbon emissions through carbon offsetting. Examples of carbon offset would include afforestation, solar energy, and the removal of industrial and agricultural by products, and so on.

In layman’s terms, carbon offsets with a carbon credit exchange service aim to cutting greenhouse gas emissions order to offset excess greenhouse gas emissions produced by someone and elsewhere. Carbon offsets work in two ways: the cap-and-trade market or compliance market and voluntary market.

In the compliance market an agency of the government sets the limit of greenhouse gas emission in certain organizations. Entities are required by law to adhere to the limit on greenhouse gases. They accomplish this by cutting back emissions from their own operations. They can make this reduction in emissions by installing accessories to their facilities that increase efficiency, while minimizing emissions, or by replacing their old vehicles with new generation cars that are cleaner to burn. If an enterprise is able cut back on its emissions to the level required by law, it is permitted to offer credits for the additional cutbacks to other organizations that are having difficulties minimizing their emissions in order to help them comply with the emission standards of minimum.

The market that is voluntary, on the other hand allows any individual or entity balance out their carbon emissions by funding projects that spearhead campaigns geared toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offset projects could contain and store these gasses, preventing any release into the atmosphere. Carbon offset projects might involve planting and maintaining forests, or investing in alternative energy resources such as solar wind and geothermal, alleviating the need to create energy using fossil fuels that could contribute to the emission of carbon dioxide. A carbon offset project may also involve destroying greenhouse gases already present in the atmosphere through capturing and neutralizing methane gas in landfills.

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Pros of Carbon Offsetting

Governments alone cannot comprehensively deal the climate change problem. The only surefire way is to cooperate with the private sector, investors and businesses through the carbon offset scheme. With that in mind, we’ll look at the advantages of carbon offset in greater detail:

Makes clear the intent

Carbon offset provides a strong argument and credibility to the efforts to reduce emission of greenhouse gases. It’s practical since it goes far beyond the typical talks and target setting that are that are part of policy-making. It is evident from the sheer number of companies and individuals who have joined this group to create a cleaner and safer world.

Older businesses still have relevance today

A majority of governments are taking actions to restrict businesses and organizations who contribute significantly to the emission of greenhouse gases. Carbon offsets will help save many existing businesses from closing. How? Well, carbon offsetting programs require that businesses who emit more greenhouse gases than the minimal limit are required to add equipment or modify their operations to increase efficiency, while at same time , reducing emissions. This can significantly help lower greenhouse gas emissions now as well as in the future.

Facilitates rapid expansion the use of energy-efficient renewable technologies

Concerning the way carbon offsetting works, the voluntary market allows the public or private sector to balance out their carbon footprint through funding initiatives aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses. These projects involve the installing solar panels, wind turbines and the construction of geothermal energy facilities and systems. This money will aid in driving forward the pace of development in renewable energy.

The damage that is actually caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

In the event of carbon offsets, paying for them can be used to quantify the actual costs of the damage to the environment through greenhouse gasses. Authorities and other institutions can employ this information to come up with precise budgets for carbon neutrality.

Helps to identify hot spots in the supply chain.

Carbon offset requirements will force business to invest a lot on inspection programs in order to discover hot spots (areas that could be contributing to greenhouse emissions of gases) which will allow the maintenance and sealing off of those hot spots. This saves the business a lot of money to purchase carbon credits if it emits more greenhouse gases than the minimum requirement under the law.

Business owners can learn more about their company

Carbon offsets allow the business owner to get to grips the carbon footprint of the business. It is determined by measuring the real numbers, and steps are taken to decrease the amount of carbon emissions before offsetting is started. The owner also gets the opportunity to engage with offset project managers and get to know the details of carbon emission reduction and emissions.

Business owners can spend their money in a wise way

If you decide to engage in carbon offsets and offsets, you’ll face issues regarding how to allocate your budget. Carbon offsetting will help you decide if it’s worth investing your money on paying for carbon offsets or even putting it into your business to cut carbon emissions within the company. The bottom line is that They all tie together because it’s practically impossible to decrease the emissions of your business completely.
Pros and cons of carbon offset

The investment in greener and less carbon-intensive processes is often overlooked.

The purchase of carbon credits can be leveraged as a means of avoiding the need to reduce carbon emissions by purchasing credits with zero investment in renewable, clean energy.

It’s an elaborate scheme

Carbon offsetting is a complicated process. In the beginning, you must bring individuals and organizations on board and get them to pledge their commitment to reduce carbon emissions. After that, you have to consider the logistics involved in buying carbon credits. This might require the involvement of third parties. Payment systems are also a challenge. On top of that, the fact that it involves invisibility, the likelihood of being targeted is high.

Fewer beneficiaries

The biggest recipients of carbon offset schemes are the traders, NGOs, and lawyers. Developers of projects don’t gain much, but they are the brains behind the scheme.

Complex red tape

Project developers must traverse the complicated red tape to get the required permits. This could take months. This means that only the most significant projects have at a chance of financing the development expenses.

All the carbon offset projects must be:

Real: These offset carbon projects shouldn’t be able to replace emissions from elsewhere.

Permanent Intention: They should work towards reducing or avoiding emissions permanently

Verifiable: The emissions that are cut by these projects should be verifiable by a third party to verify that emissions are actually decreased.

There are two levels on which carbon offset is carried out. Let’s begin by understanding the market for large-scale compliance. In the large-scale compliance market, the participants are national government, corporate businesses, non-governmental organizations International organizations, etc. They invest carbon offsets as part of social responsibility and to track the maximum permissible amount of green house gas emissions. The need to invest in this is also to comply with the various guidelines they are expected to follow as per the Kyoto Protocol Annex 1 parties. One can usually see a corporate firm invest either in energy-efficiency or wind turbines model as a selection of carbon offset plans.

According to the Carbon offsets Daily’s report in their piece on 2008’s “Brands and carbon offsets” In this smaller market known as the voluntary market, about $705 million worth of carbon offsets purchased. When calculated this amounts to roughly 123.4 million metric tons reduced carbon. The carbon offset level is much lower extent than the first. However , it’s an integral part. Herein individuals or companies etc utilize carbon offsets to combat the greenhouse gas issue on a intimate and personal scale. They seek to limit and limit the emission from the greenhouse gases emitted while making use of transportation modes or electricity, and also the burning of fuels on a domestic level among other smaller chores.

The measurement scale of carbon offsets is metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents abbreviated CO2e. This includes the main greenhouse gases, such as. carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride(SF6). When we talk about one carbon offset, it is in reference to the diminution of 1 metric tons of either carbon dioxide or any of the green house gases that are in the same amount.

Let’s take a look at different Carbon offset programs.

Renewable energy offsets typically include hydro, solar and wind energy projects. Biofuels can also be considered under renewable energy.

Methane collection and combustion is the next kind of carbon offset project. It involves the collection and combustion of methane emitted by anaerobic processes industrial waste, as well as methane that is generated by landfills.

Forestry and land use attempt to build natural carbon sinks for forests by making use of soil. Sub-projects within the above are reforestation. It is restoring a forest where it used to be, and afforestation that is the process of creating a new forest area and not deforestation.

Carbon offsets in energy efficiency projects includes co generation plants. Co generation plants create heat and electricity from one source of power. This increases the energy efficiency of most power plants, which otherwise usually use the heat energy generated.

Under the Fuel efficiency project, combustion devices are substituted by one that uses less fuel per unit of provided energy. This is believing that the energy demand does not change.

Energy-efficient buildings reduce the energy wasted in buildings. They use high-efficiency heating and cooling or lighting systems. A good example of the same could be lighting bulbs are replaced in fluorescent lighting. This could reduce energy consumption to a large extent.

There are many debates related to carbon offsets, but it is considered to be an acceptable way to eliminate the damage done.