Our carbon footprints are too big. We need several globes to sustain our western lifestyle. Scientists tell us it is urgent to stop using fossil fuels as the carbon emissions result in a temperature increase that will jeopardise life on earth as we know it. If we don’t manage to flatten out and push down the global emission curves we are reaching temperature increase of +2° and even much more, and that will push earth in to a changed geological phase. A place not so pleasant to live in.
But there are many positive trends which if accelerated can bring down the emissions to acceptable levels: cheaper solar and wind power, electric cars, energy storage technology, carbon efficient buildings, peak coal has already happened, plant based food which reduces methane emissions. All these trends are fed by investment money that finds these areas profitable.
At the same time both individuals and organisations must do what they can to reduce their carbon impacts and become more sustainable. However, reducing carbon emissions will take time and will in some cases be difficult unless the technological development helps us. So in the meantime we need to do something immediately and that is to offset our carbon emissions.
Carbon offsetting helps to combat global climate change. In many instances offsetting also provides much needed employment, health improvement, biodiversity and broad social benefits to impoverished communities.
What is a Carbon Offset?
Carbon offsetting is a way to put a price tag on our lifestyle. All the time we externalize costs that will have to be picked up by coming generations. Externalizing means we don’t take full responsibility.
Carbon offsetting is in no way a solution but it is a means to take immediate responsibility. It is a way to compensate for your emissions by funding an equivalent CO2 saving elsewhere. Our everyday actions, at home and at work, consume energy and produce carbon emissions, such as driving, flying and heating buildings. Carbon offsetting is used to balance out these emissions by helping to pay for emission savings in other parts of the world.
Many of the carbon offsetting projects also provide wider benefits in addition to carbon reduction, such as biodiversity, education, jobs, food security and heath & well-being in developing countries.
Is offsetting the answer to climate change?
What guarantee do I get?
All projects are certified according to accepted international standards such as Gold Standard or VCS, which means that they fulfil criteria for delivering measurable carbon offsets as well as community benefits in developing countries. All projects are verified by auditors to secure that offsetting is achieved according to the plans.
PET’s Carbon Strategy Group
- Roger Doudna, Chair of the Board and Environmental Director
- Amanda Haworth, Non-executive Director
- Goran N. Wiklund, Sustainability Consultant