Carbon Offsetting - Solution or Distraction?
by Fran Haddock
What's Going On Here?
Over the last 18 months organisations and NGOs that provide carbon offsetting services have seen a significant increase in investment. This is thought to be due to growing public awareness, thanks in part to public figures such as Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough as well as Extinction Rebellion and the school strikers.
What Does This Mean?
Carbon offsetting means calculating the carbon dioxide emissions of an activity, business or entire lifestyle and then paying a scheme for the equivalent amount (in theory) to be removed from the atmosphere. Schemes can include investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency projects and tree planting. Companies such as Climate Care, Climate Stewards and Gold Standard have recently noticed a spike in offsetting as much as a fourfold increase. So this is great news! Right?
Unfortunately, carbon offsetting is a controversial topic which is far from a magic bullet to tackle the climate crisis…
So what are the pros and cons of offsetting?
And of course the increased interest in offsetting also means an increased interest in the climate crisis in general, which can only be good news!
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