EarthEnvironment

Carbon Offsetting: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Climate change is a huge challenge the world is facing. Populations and economies have continuously grown in recent time and this is making our environment feel the strain of our increased energy needs. Because of this, it’s clear we all need to look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

The journey towards a greener way of life has begun for many of us. That could be choosing to recycle, reducing the amount of plastic we use, getting an LPG tank for our fuel, or even turning down the thermostat in our home by one degree – there’s a growing number of people dedicated to lowering their environmental impact.  Yet more action is needed. Last year the UK government announced plans to achieve ‘Net Zero’ status by the year 2050[1], a target which aims to stop the UK from contributing to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. However, public awareness on how this will be achieved is still lacking. In fact, a recent report from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau found that just 38 per cent of us are aware we’ll need to change the way our home is heated if we’re to achieve this goal.[2]

Until we are entirely carbon neutral it’s obvious that we’ll be unable to avoid creating a carbon a footprint on some scale. From heating our homes and offices, to driving our cars or even making a cup of tea, it’s inevitable that we can’t always live up to the green standards we’d like to.

If you’re looking to combat these inescapable emissions, carbon offsetting is the solution. Here, we look through the benefits and how it can help us lead a greener life.

What is Carbon Offsetting?

Carbon Offsetting is the answer to our daily emissions which are created but can’t be prevented. A process in which people compensate their emissions by funding projects that provide sustainable development in communities around the world. These projects offer an equivalent reduction in emissions to those you create; either counteracting or absorbing carbon dioxide and bringing balance to the environment.

This strategy has already been adopted by a host of well-known worldwide brands, including EasyJet[3], Shell[4] and Gucci[5], who all now use Carbon Offsetting to help improve the environmental impact of their businesses.

What is the importance of Carbon Offsetting?

Carbon Offsetting enables the public to be more positive with its contribution to the environment when emissions are unavoidable. In addition, the increased funding these causes receive can change lives, bringing economic, social and health improvements to whole communities. With people at the heart of Carbon Offsetting, as well as ecosystems, it allows us to begin future proofing for a cleaner, greener world. 

Why should I choose to Carbon Offset my emissions?

Everyone has a big part to play if we are to achieve a low-carbon future. For homeowners, this means being given the chance to balance their carbon footprint. For the environmentally conscious and those looking to reduce their impact on the climate, Carbon Offsetting gives them the tools to make a difference. Whilst it shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone approach and is best used as part of a wider carbon reduction strategy, it will help people reduce their impact on the environment.

How do I offset the carbon emissions I can’t control?

There are many beneficiaries of Carbon Offsetting. This could be anything from helping some of the poorest households in West Africa to access eco-friendly cooking equipment, to supplying clean hydroelectric power to the local grid in rural China, the options are diverse. One example is the Kariba REDD+ Forest Protection project in Zimbabwe, Africa. Since its launch in 2011, it’s avoided more than 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and has prevented deforestation in an area of nearly 750,000 hectares.

It’s clear that Carbon Offsetting isn’t the sole answer, but it is definitely part of a much bigger solution. It’s true that many of us are already doing our bit in all areas of life to reduce our carbon footprint but choosing great initiatives such as Carbon Offsetting is yet another step in the right direction. By supporting worthy sustainability projects that deliver quantifiable greenhouse gas reductions, we can all play our part in securing the future of the planet.


[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-becomes-first-major-economy-to-pass-net-zero-emissions-law

[2]https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/Energy/Energy%20Consultation%20responses/Zero%20sum%20(2).pdf

[3] http://corporate.easyjet.com/corporate-responsibility/environment/climate-change-carbon-emissions-and-carbon-offsetting

[4] https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3082469/shell-to-offer-drivers-carbon-offsets-at-no-extra-cost

[5] https://www.gucci.com/uk/en_gb/st/stories/gucci-equilibrium/article/carbon-neutral

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