- Superior offsetting schemes now require genuine development benefits within each project. These include fuel efficient cooking stoves and managed woodlots.
Most industrialised countries accept that their greenhouse gases emissions are causing global warming. To address this, they entered into international agreements to manage and reduce emissions, led by the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. Firms with high emissions have to pay for each tonne they emit, in the hope of encouraging them to use more efficient methods and greener energy sources. In practice, and particularly in the short-term, there is only so much that many can or are willing to do.
If a company still wants to emit more than it is allowed to, it has to buy credits from competitors who have reduced their emissions below the target level. This ‘cap and trade’ forms the basis of the mandatory carbon market, where the currency is tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent; usually just called carbon.
Beyond trading emissions within a capped market, there is the option of 'Carbon Offsetting'. An offset cancels out or neutralises the emission of greenhouse gases in one place, by avoiding or reducing the same amount of emissions somewhere else. These credits are registered and then ‘retired’, i.e. taken out of circulation permanently so that they cannot be counted again. So when properly regulated, such offsetting can still help the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Through the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) most industrialised countries can buy credits from projects in developing countries, provided these also contribute to the host country’s sustainable development. Carbon offset projects include renewable energy, utilising methane escaping from landfill and coal mines, and improved fuel efficiency. Other carbon markets have since emerged, including schemes in which organisations and individuals who do not have to cut their emissions can voluntarily choose to offset them.
Over time, carbon offestting standards have improved. Superior offsetting schemes now require genuine development benefits within each project. These include fuel efficient cooking stoves and managed woodlots. So although buying such an offset is in effect reducing your carbon emissions by proxy, it could provide an additional source of funding for some of Concern Universal’s work.
Meeting the requirements for pro-poor carbon credits, i.e. having verified social and environmental benefits, is inherent in Concern Universal’s work. Hence we have already been successful at both ends of the voluntary carbon market spectrum; from a certified Gold Standard project (fuel efficient cooking stoves in Malawi), to directly offsetting the emissions of an international conference in The Gambia.
If you would like to talk about carbon offsetting with Concern Universal in more details, please contact Clive Caffall on 01432 355111 or email: email@example.com