But can you separate the facts about carbon offsets from fiction?
Learn about CI’s efforts to help offset carbon pollution and how you can help through our informative FAQ below.
What exactly is a carbon offset?
Carbon offsets are credits generated by projects that either prevent carbon emissions from going into the atmosphere or remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide has the same global warming potential no matter where it is emitted, so reducing carbon emissions anywhere in the world creates the same benefit for the planet.
How does CI offset carbon?
CI believes that restoring and protecting the world’s tropical forests offer an important means to tackle one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions – in fact, tropical deforestation accounts for more emissions than all of the world’s cars, trucks and airplanes combined.
By building a robust portfolio of forest carbon activities in some of the most biologically rich and economically poor nations of the world, our goal is to simultaneously conserve natural resources such as biodiversity and fresh water, create sustainable livelihoods and produce high-quality carbon offsets.
CI is developing high-quality forest carbon offsets that span the globe from Africa to Asia to Latin America and include a broad range of forest-based mitigation activities. All are designed to meet the best-practice standards for carbon – the Voluntary Carbon Standard or UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism – as well as the leading standard for assessing co-benefits – the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards. As a result, we can ensure that the projects create real, measurable and verifiable emissions reductions along with concrete benefits for local communities and for biodiversity conservation.
We expect that these innovative projects will be a model for broader efforts to significantly curb climate change and protect the biological diversity on which life depends, while simultaneously improving the economic well-being of forest-dependent communities.
All projects include the following key criteria:
1. Climate benefits are “additional” — that the carbon sequestered or the emissions reduced would not have occurred without the carbon project;
2. There is no net “leakage” of benefits — that the project does not lead to unintended behavior change outside the project boundary that could negate some of the climate benefits, or that such impacts are accounted for;
3. Best practices are used to measure and monitor the carbon stocks and quantify the carbon benefits generated;
4. The benefits from forest-based projects are permanent — that the risk of potential loss of carbon (whether from natural or human causes) is mitigated; and
5. The project provides multiple benefits — that the project’s effect on biodiversity and the local community, as well as on global climate, is positive.
What are the important criteria that legitimize these projects as valid offsetting activities?
CI guarantees the quality and validity of our forest carbon projects and ensures that co-benefits are generated by working in accordance with the CCB Standards. These are voluntary standards to help project developers design projects that simultaneously minimize the risk of climate change, conserve biodiversity and provide economic and social benefits to local communities.
CI is also committed to verifying the project carbon benefits through the use of the most rigorous carbon accounting frameworks, whether the Voluntary Carbon Standard or UNFCC Clean Development Mechanism.
How do you calculate someone’s carbon footprint?
CI’s carbon calculator is simple, fast and easy to use, but it will deliver your total estimated personal greenhouse gas emissions about as accurately and credibly as many hours of data-gathering and fact-finding.
As with any online carbon calculator, ours includes some margin of error due to the difficulty and imprecision inherent in measuring the CO2 output of your morning commute or your dietary decisions, for example. Therefore, we combine the best available data and a range of informed assumptions to form the basis of our calculations and to provide you an emissions estimate you can rely on – and begin to neutralize.
Our focus is on those everyday variables you can influence the most – namely, your residential energy, personal travel and dietary emissions.
Is stopping climate change too big of a challenge?
Stopping climate change is a huge challenge. But if we all do our small part to decrease our personal impact on the planet, we can make a measurable difference.
Where can CI supporters go to offset their carbon?
You can start by calculating your carbon footprint right now.
Or you can simply choose to offset one of these carbon packages:
Offset the average person for $288 (or $24 per month) – Offset this.
Offset the average driver for $60 – Offset this.
Offset the average home for $60 – Offset this.
Offset a typical domestic flight for $17 – Offset this.
Offset a typical international flight for $74 – Offset this.
We hope you found this FAQ informative and helpful. If you have more questions, please visit our website.