General Article Carbon offsetting - frequently asked questions

Topic Selected: Climate Change
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What is carbon offsetting?

Our everyday actions consume energy and produce carbon dioxide emissions, for example driving a car, heating a home or flying. Offsetting is a way of compensating for the emissions produced with an equivalent carbon dioxide saving. In this way it lessens the impact of a consumer's actions. However, it is important to note that offsetting does not actually reduce the emissions contributing to climate change which is why it is important that we all reduce and avoid consuming energy.

Carbon offsetting involves calculating your emissions and then purchasing 'credits' from emission reduction projects that have prevented or removed the emission of an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide elsewhere.

  • Due to the fact that greenhouse gases have a long lifespan and tend to mix evenly in the atmosphere it doesn't matter where gases are emitted in the world: the effect on climate change is the same. It is easier to reduce emissions from some sources than others...

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