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What are carbon credits and carbon offsets

what are carbon credits and carbon offsets


Carbon offsets are a way of reducing the effect of the carbon emissions generated by your activities, by buying carbon credits from a project that absorbs more carbon than it emits, or that replaces activities with a higher CO2e output with those having a lower CO2e output.

Limitations of the Carbon credit offset process

As we have mentioned elsewhere, there are limits to the benefits derived from the purchase of Carbon Credits from Greenflight, and for clarity, these are noted below.

It should be noted that Carbon Credit offsets do not directly offset the environmental impact of air travel – the purchase and retirement of Carbon Credit offsets is a notional process because the projects which generate the Carbon Credits exist independently of the purchase and retirement of Carbon Credit offsets.

However, it is generally accepted that the existence and development of a Carbon Credit market (which Greenflight will be participating in on your behalf) will facilitate and encourage the development of new and enlarged projects which generate additional Carbon Credits.

Also, it should be noted that the purchase and retirement of Carbon Credit offsets may not have any offsetting effect in relation to other emissions (other than CO2 ) generated by your air travel.

And always remember - if possible, it is better to NOT do something than it is to OFFSET the result.

However, there are some things we can't (or choose not to) avoid in life. And some of those generate carbon dioxide and other emissions (CO2e ) that contributes to global warming and climate change. Activities like driving the car, using electricity, and air travel. And while we should be doing all we can to reduce the things we do that cause CO2e emissions, there are times we just can't.

This is where Carbon Offsetting comes in.

There are projects arounds the world that have been accredited under various international bodies including the Voluntary Carbon Standard (these projects produce Voluntary

Carbon Units or VCUs), other accredited project methodologies generating other VERs (Verified Emission Reduction Units) and the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism (these Projects are administered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change  projects, and produce Carbon Credits known as Carbon Emission Reduction Units (or CERs) or Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

The accreditation of these projects by these international bodies verifies the Project activities as removing CO2 and CO2e from the atmosphere or producing less CO2e than other similar activities. Because these projects have been assessed as "additional" i.e. the project would not have occurred without the invetment raised by selling carbon offset credits, they are permitted to sell the reduced emissions as "Carbon Credits".

Which means that by offsetting your flights, hotels or car rental, you are contributing to the expansion of those projects, which means less CO2e in the atmosphere, and helping us all by reducing the impact of climate change.

How will we make sure the Projects do this?

Before we purchase carbon credits from Projects, we will obtain all of the verification and accreditation documentation from the Projects to ensure they are fully accredited and verified. We will also test any claims they make regarding the social co-benefits generated from the Projects by a combination of checking with independent third parties and the verifying bodies themselves.

When we are at the point of purchasing credits, we (or agents employed by us for the purpose), may make physical trips to the Projects to determine the truth in the Project claims before we finalise the purchase. The requirement for this may depend on the projects we are reviewing.

The results of any visits such as these (where we have been satisfied as to the truthfulness of the claims, and we have proceeded with the purchase) will be published in the Projects area of this website.

You can see the types of projects on our Projects page.

If you're ready to offset your flights now, go to the Flight CO2 Calculator page from here

Category: Credit

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