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Pros of Carbon Offsetting

Global warming is a matter which has brought intense and interminable debates. It is one of the major threats facing us currently. Many believed that global warming was a hoax manufactured by some leaders to prevent further extraction and use from fossil fuels. But the consequences are now evident and include changes in the weather patterns that can lead to massive crop failures occurrence of more killer storms, rising sea levels that threaten to drown many islands and force the displacement of millions of people. There is also widespread loss of animal and plant species and the loss of coral reefs. The primary cause of global warming is burning of fossil fuels, which release huge quantities of greenhouse gases. Examples of greenhouse gases include Carbon dioxide and methane, fluorinated and nitrous oxide gasses such as perfluorocarbonsand nitrogen trifluoride, sulfur hexafluoride and hydrofluorocarbons.

For life to be sustained on Earth The right balance of carbon dioxide needs to be maintained in the atmospheric. This is accomplished by neutralizing carbon dioxide released into air by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, driving vehicles, using home appliances, and even heating and cooling homes. However, no matter the level of commitment we put, it’s almost impossible to avoid all emissions that make up your carbon footprint. Carbon offsets come into play.

Carbon offsets are programs that aim to reduce or eliminate our carbon footprint. They can be purchased carbon offsets from carbon credit trading exchange companies. In simple terms, carbon offsets are credits for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions made by a single person or entity which can be purchased and utilized to offset(compensate) the carbon emissions created by another person or entity. Carbon offsets are normally measured as tons or CO2-equivalents, commonly abbreviated as CO2e. A single carbon offset can be thought of as the reduction by one metric metric tonne of carbon dioxide. They are sold and purchased via intermediaries, traditional sites, global brokers and online retailers.

The carbon offset is investing in projects that help reduce the emission of CO2 or greenhouse gases, to lessen their carbon footprint, in order to keep the planet safe from catastrophic climate changes. Carbon offsets are a method way to control damage. In order to offset the carbon pollution that is deadly, business or individuals buy carbon offsets, which means that the carbon dioxide emissions as well as other greenhouse gases that cause harm are reduced and controlled elsewhere. You can calculate your carbon footprint here.

Carbon Offsetting projects are designed at reducing the CO2 or the greenhouse gas (GHG) released into the atmosphere. The outcomes of these projects can be immediate or in the longer term, based on the type of project. Let’s take unconventional energy sources or for that matter renewable sources. If we take a look at projects in wind farms, or hydro-power plants installed at dams they are nothing but investments in reducing carbon emissions through carbon offsetting. Examples of carbon offset could include afforestation, solar energy models, the disposal of industrial and agricultural by products, etc.

In simple terms, carbon offsets aim at minimizing greenhouse gas emissions in order to compensate for excess greenhouse gas emissions produced by someone other. Carbon offsets function in two main ways: the cap-and-trade market or compliance market and voluntary market.

In the compliance market, a government agency puts limits on greenhouse gas emissions of specific companies. They are required by law to strictly abide by the limit on greenhouse gases. They do this by reducing emissions from their own activities. They can achieve the reduction in emissions by incorporating equipment to their facilities to boost efficiency while reducing emissions, or replacing their old cars with newer clean-burning vehicles. If an entity is able to cut back on its emissions below the requirement amount required by law it is allowed to sell credits to offset these cuts to other companies that are having issues reducing their emissions in order to be in compliance with the minimum emission requirements.

The market for voluntary transactions is, however allows any individual or entity balance out their carbon emission by bankrolling projects that spearhead campaigns geared towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offset initiatives can contain and store the gasses which will prevent any releases into the environment. Carbon offset projects could involve planting and maintaining forests, or investing in alternative energy resources such as solar wind or geothermal, alleviating the necessity of generating power from fossil fuels, which can contribute to emissions. Carbon offset projects could also involve destroying greenhouse gases already present in the air by neutralizing methane gas and capturing it in landfills.

Pros and cons of carbon offset

Governments on their own are not able to deal with the climate crisis. The only reliable way is to cooperate with the private sector, business and investors through the carbon offsetting scheme. With this in mind, let’s look at the pros of carbon offset in greater detail:

Makes clear the intention

Carbon offsetting gives a solid argument and credibility to the attempts to cut down on 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’s evident from the number of businesses and people who are a part of this population to create a cleaner and safe environment.

Old businesses are relevant in the modern day

Many governments are taking steps to curb businesses and corporations which contribute significantly to the emissions of greenhouse gases. Carbon offsets will help save many older businesses from going out of business. How? Carbon offset programs require that companies who produce more greenhouse gases than the minimal limit are required to add equipment or modify their processes to improve efficiency while at the same time , reducing emissions. This can significantly help cut greenhouse gas emissions in the present as well as in the future.

Facilitates rapid expansion of renewable energy technologies

In terms of how carbon offset is achieved in the market, the voluntary market permits individuals or entities to manage their carbon footprint by supplying projects aimed at reducing emission of greenhouse gases. This includes the installation of solar panels, wind turbines as well as the installation of geothermal power installations and facilities. The funds will drive forward the pace of development in renewable energy.

The damage that is actually caused by greenhouse gas emissions

The cost of carbon offsets is a way to calculate the actual costs of the harm done to the environment through greenhouse gases. Institutions, including governments, can make use of this information to create precise budgets for carbon neutrality.

Helps identify hot spots in the supply chain

Carbon offset requirements force businesses to spend a lot in inspection programs to find hot spots (areas that mightily contribute to greenhouse emissions of gases), allowing the maintenance and sealing off of these hot spots. This saves the business a lot of money to purchase carbon credits if they emit more greenhouse gases than the minimum required legally required.

It allows business owners to know more about their business

Carbon offsets allow the business owner to become acquainted the carbon footprint of their business. The carbon footprint is measured to determine actual figures and measures are taken to minimize them before any offsetting is started. The owner also has the chance to interact with offset project developers and learn the specifics of carbon emission and reduction.

Aids business owners to spend their money prudently

When you begin to participate in carbon offsetting with a carbon credit exchange, you’ll be faced with issues regarding how to allocate your budget. Carbon offsets can help you determine if it’s worthwhile to spend your money on paying for carbon offsets or plow it into the business to reduce carbon emissions internally. The bottom-line is: All of them are interconnected, and it’s practically impossible to decrease your carbon emissions completely.
Pros and cons of carbon offset

The investment in greener and less carbon-intensive processes could be overlooked

Purchase of carbon credits could be used as a way to get around the requirement to cut emissions by buying credits for no investment in renewable, clean energy.

It’s a sophisticated method

Carbon offset is a complex process. First, you need to bring people and entities involved and convince the latter to agree to reduce carbon emissions. Then, there is the procedure of purchasing the carbon credits, which may require third party involvement. Payout mechanisms are also complex. In addition, the fact that it involves invisible commodities, the chance of being targeted is high.

Fewer beneficiaries

The primary people who benefit from carbon offset schemes are traders as well as NGOs and lawyers. Developers of projects don’t gain a lot, yet they are the main brains behind the scheme.

Complex red tape

Project developers have to undergo the lengthy formalities to obtain the required permits. This could take a long time. This also means that only major projects have the chance of funding the development expenses.

All carbon offset initiatives must include:

Real: These carbon offset projects should not displace emissions from other sources.

Permanent Intention: They should work towards cutting or eliminating emissions forever

Verifiable: The emission reductions which are reduced through these projects must be verified by third party to ensure that the emissions actually reduced.

The two different levels where carbon offsets are conducted. We will begin by defining the large scale compliance market. In the large-scale compliance market, participants are national government, corporate businesses, non-governmental organizations International organizations, etc. They are investing in carbon offsets in the course in their social accountability as well as to monitor the maximum permissible amount of greenhouse gas emissions. The necessity to invest in carbon offsets is also to follow the numerous guidelines they have to follow as per the Kyoto Protocol Annex 1 parties. The majority of corporate entity invest on wind farms, or enter into an energy efficiency program as their choice of a carbon offset project.

According to the Carbon offsets daily’s analysis in their 2008 piece “Brands and carbon offsets’ In this smaller market known as”the voluntary market,” about 705 million carbon offsets have been purchased. This amounts to about 123.4 million metric tons reduced carbon. This level for carbon offsetting is much lower than the previous. However , it is an integral part. Individuals or companies utilize carbon offsets to battle the greenhouse gas issue on a individual and intimate level. They aim to control and cut down on the emission of the greenhouse gases released using modes of transport, electricity, combustion of fuels at a household level among other smaller chores.

The measurement scale of carbon offsets is metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents abbreviated CO2e. They include the most significant greenhouse gases like. carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) as well as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride(SF6). When we talk about one carbon offset, we’re talking about the reduction of one metric tonne of carbon dioxide or any of the other green house gases within the same manner.

Let’s an overview of various Carbon offset programs.

Renewable energy offsets usually include hydro, wind, and solar energy projects. Biofuel can be considered under renewable energy.

Methane collection and combustion is the next type of carbon offsetting scheme. This includes the collection and combustion of methane emitted by anaerobic source industrial waste, industrial waste, and methane emitted from landfills.

Land use and forestry look to create natural carbon sinks for forests by using the soil. Sub-projects within the above are reforestation. It is restoring a forest where it was previously present, and afforestation which involves the creation of a new forest space and no deforestation.

Carbon offsets in energy efficiency initiatives include co generation facilities. Co generation plants produce heat and electricity from one power source. This betters energy efficiency of most power plants, which otherwise usually use the heat energy generated.

Under the Fuel efficiency project, the combustion engine is replaced with one that uses less fuel per unit of provided energy. This is believing that the energy consumption does not change.

Energy-efficient structures help reduce energy wasted in buildings. They utilize efficient heating, cooling and/or lighting systems. A good example could be the replacement of light bulbs with fluorescent lamps. This can curb energy consumption in a significant way.

There are numerous debates pertaining to carbon offsets, but it is considered to be an effective way of eradicating the harm that is done.