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Carbon Offsetting

Carbon Offsetting – An Exciting Strategy

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

One of the biggest challenges the UK is facing is how to tackle the issue of climate change. As our populations and economies grow, the environment is feeling the strain of our increased energy needs. This means we all need to look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and quickly. 

Over the past decade we have seen an increasing number of individuals become dedicated to lowering their environmental impact. These measures range from a reduction in the use of plastic, to the implementation of LPG as a main energy source. 

Although people are making a difference, further changes are still required. 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]

The harsh truth is that, until we are entirely carbon neutral, 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. 

It isn’t all doom a gloom, however. For those looking to combat these inescapable emissions, there is a solution – and it’s called Carbon Offsetting. Here, we look through the benefits and how it can help us lead a greener life. 

What is meant by Carbon Offsetting?

There is a solution to the everyday emissions we produce, and it comes in the form of Carbon Offsetting. 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.

Big brands from around the world such as EasyJet[3], Shell[4] and Gucci[5] all now use Carbon Offsetting to help improve the environmental impact of their businesses. 

But why is it important?

Carbon Offsetting exists as way of allowing people to make up for the emissions that they can’t otherwise avoid. 

Additionally, 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.  

For what reason should I Offset my Carbon emissions?

As homeowners, Carbon Offsetting is the opportunity to balance your 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?

From West Africa households being given access to eco-friendly cooking equipment, to rural China being supplied with clean hydroelectric power, the beneficiaries of Carbon Offsetting are extensive and the options 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. 

Through the combination of Carbon Offsetting and the support of sustainability projects which deliver clearly recognisable results, aligned with individual efforts within the home and industry, it is clear that the UK can, over the coming years, play a positive role in carbon emission reduction.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-becomes-first-major-economy-to-pass-net-zero-emissions-law[1]https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Global/CitizensAdvice/Energy/Energy%20Consultation%20responses/Zero%20sum%20(2).pdf

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

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

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