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Carbon offset

What are carbon offsets and how do they work?

The definition of carbon offsets is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, made to reduce the impact of emissions in other locations.

In simple terms, this means you create something that absorbs greenhouse gases in equal amounts as they are released.

The result of carbon offsets is that you reduce your overall negative impact on the global environment by also creating positive effects.

Carbon offsets are a way to maintain economic stability while improving sustainability.

Banning greenhouse gas emissions would disrupt current industry and thus create economic chaos.

Some of the projects funded by carbon offsets are research projects into renewable energy sources that would help reduce emissions in the future.

What types of projects are included in carbon offset programs?

More than 200 types of projects that offset greenhouse gas emissions are included in carbon offset programs.

Among these you can find projects for renewable energy methane capture and combustion destruction of industrial pollutants land use forestry land use change.

Carbon offset markets

There are two markets for carbon offsets.

One is the compliance market where governments and businesses buy the carbon credits they need to meet the caps they have committed to.

The other market is the voluntary market, where governments, businesses and individuals purchase carbon offsets to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions.

The voluntary market is much smaller than the compliance market.

Common Questions

There are a lot of questions about carbon offsets. We answer some of the most common ones below.

  • Definition of carbon offsets?

Carbon offsets are defined as a reduction in greenhouse gases made to reduce the impact of emissions elsewhere.

  • How much carbon does a tree offset?

Exactly how much carbon dioxide a single tree offsets depends a bit on how you calculate, but one figure that seems fairly common in the literature is that one tree offsets 0.16 tons of CO2.

  • How to buy carbon offsets?

Carbon offsets are traded on markets in the United States and Europe. There are several players offering carbon offsets to both markets.

  • How to sell carbon offsets?

The sale of carbon offsets is also done on the aforementioned markets. Contact one of the players to negotiate the deal.

  • How effective are carbon offsets?

There has been a lot of discussion about the effectiveness of carbon offsets. The intention of the offsets is good, but the implementation leaves room for improvement.

  • What is carbon offset shipping?

Carbon offset shipping is exactly what it sounds - all emissions from shipping your goods are offset by the shipping company. Normally, this alternative comes with an additional cost to cover the carbon offset.

  • What is a carbon offset flight?

A carbon offset flight involves purchasing carbon offsets that cover the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from your flight. This can be done either directly from certain airlines, or via an operator on the carbon offset markets.

  • Why buy carbon offsets?

The reason to purchase carbon offsets is simple – we all need to take care of our global environment. By purchasing carbon offsets, you create positive impacts that match negative impacts elsewhere.

  • What is the Gold Standard for carbon offsets?

The Gold Standard is a benchmark and certification mark for players in the voluntary carbon offset market. It is run by a not-for-profit foundation and works to ensure that activities and projects undertaken to offset carbon emissions have the effect they claim to have.

Are carbon offsets a good idea?

    The debate over whether carbon offsets are a good idea is ongoing. There are valid arguments on both sides, and no definitive conclusions have been reached.

    The positive side indicates that offsets are better than nothing and contribute to environmental improvement.

    If carbon offsets are combined with other actions to reduce the carbon footprint, they are a great way to help the environment in the long term.

    By using carbon offsets to fund research projects into renewable energy sources, future emissions can be reduced.

    Critics say carbon offsets are just indulgences with no real effect and that real emissions reductions must take priority.

    Their view is that purchasing carbon offsets is easier than changing emission behaviors and thus prevents real change from being implemented.

    Want to know how to reduce your carbon footprint?

    Find out how you can reduce Co2 emissions in 5 easy steps.

    If everyone just does a little and makes more conscious decisions, we've come a long way.

    The Kyoto Protocol

    The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty from 1997. It regulates greenhouse gas emissions, and it came into force in 2005. 192 countries participate in the treaty.

    The main objective of the treaty is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on economic reality and the reduction capacity of participating countries.


    Combining carbon offsets and other ways to reduce your carbon footprint will help the global environment. By choosing carbon offset products, shipping and transportation, you will both have a positive impact on the Earth and declare that you care about our planet.

    If enough people make the same choice, even large companies and industries will understand what type of products their customers want and adjust their production.

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