Our carbon footprints are too big. We need several globes to sustain our 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 and reduce the global emission curves we will reach a temperature increase of +2°C or more. That will push earth into a new geological phase – a place not so pleasant to live in.
There are already many positive trends which, if accelerated, can lower emissions to acceptable levels: cheaper solar and wind power, electric cars, energy storage technology, carbon efficient buildings. Peak coal has already happened, and plant-based food reduces methane emissions and water usage. All these trends are fed by financial investments that find these areas to be more and more profitable.
At the same time individuals and organisations can reduce their carbon impact and become more sustainable. One way to avoid the cost of offsetting and even save money is to simply change your lifestyle: less travelling by air, less meat in your diet, a garden of your own with vegetables, car sharing, heating your house with wood. Such steps could easily cut your personal emissions in half.
However, reducing carbon emissions will take time and in many cases be difficult unless technology helps us. So in the meantime we can 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.
Since end February 2018, the Findhorn Foundation has linked to PET’s Carbon Offsetting calculator, inviting Foundation guests, visitors and staff to join them in actively engaging in our Ecovillage Carbon Strategy; and other community bodies have also engaged on behalf of their clients and staff. PET welcomes all individuals and bodies to participate in this tangible gift for our the planet and its children.
What is Carbon Offsetting?
A way to put a price tag on your lifestyle. We continually externalise costs that will have to be picked up by coming generations. And externalising means we don’t take full responsibility for them.
Carbon offsetting is by no means a complete solution. But it is a way to take immediate responsibility for our current emissions. Your everyday actions at home and at work consume energy and produce carbon emissions — driving, flying and heating buildings. Carbon offsetting is used to balance this out by funding equivalent CO2 savings elsewhere.
Many of the Offsetting projects also provide wider benefits. These include biodiversity, education, jobs, food security and heath & well-being in developing countries.
Is offsetting the answer to climate change?
Offsetting provides a mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and plays a vital role in combating climate change, but if done in isolation it is not a solution.
PET’s belief is that the direction of climate change will only change if we #1 EDUCATE ourselves about true personal CO2 emissions, #2 OFFSET unavoidable emissions, and #3 REDUCE our emissions (compare the Ecovillage Community’s per capita CO2 emissions between 2015 (4,065t)→ 2017 (5,092t)→ 2018 (3,392t)).
What guarantee do I get?
All projects are certified according to accepted international standards such as Gold Standard or VCS, which mean that they fulfil criteria for delivering measurable carbon offsets, as well as community benefits in developing countries. All of our projects are verified by independent auditors.
PET’s Carbon Strategy Group
- Roger Doudna, Chair of the Board and Carbon Strategy Director
- Amanda Haworth, non-executive Director
- Göran Wiklund, consultant