Carbon Offset Gold Standard

Carbon offsets seem to be good but have been bugging me in the way they are shown/advertised everywhere, seems everyone and their mother are selling them and that it’s a massive opportunity for scams. David Suzuki gives us some details on how they work and which kind to look for. An important piece of info:

Another important issue to consider when purchasing offsets is ‘additionality’. An offset project is considered additional if it isn’t business as usual. Typically this means that the project wouldn’t have happened without the extra funding from the sale of offsets. Additionality is extremely important, as the entire concept of offsetting – i.e. purchasing greenhouse gas reduction credits from a project elsewhere to neutralize one’s own emissions – is based on the premise that those reductions wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Only by buying offsets that have met additionality criteria can you be assured that your purchase is resulting in a net benefit for the climate.

Basically if it’s not additional, you’re just helping something already existing to make more money. Sure it could keep them in business which is good but you’re then helping that market/industry exist but not really offsetting anything.

There’s also a page full of resources links, as mentioned in the article, pay special attention to the “Gold Standard” list at the bottom of the page for reliable and certified offsets.

I found the article via Daniel Haran who also did some research and extracted some offset prices per ton amongst the Gold Standard list.

One Comment

the milliner August 10, 2007

Wow. Thanks for the info. I had been to David Suzuki’s site a while back to read about carbon offsetting, but wasn’t aware about the additionality factor.

p.s. If you haven’t read it yet, his book ‘The David Suzuki Reader: A Lifetime of Ideas from a Leading Activist and Thinker’ is a very interesting read. At times depressing, but in that David Suzuki way he still manages to convince you that not all is lost.

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