Carbon Offsetting

Carbon offsetting should not be used so that one can continue with ones current lifestyle, All the previous should must be completed first. Carbon offsetting involves and individual or organisation to pay others who have opportunities to reduce their own emissions. There are several websites offering offsets which may involve tree planting or installation of additional renewable energy. provision of more efficient cookers in developing countries etc.     


These are more often than not quoted as a monetary cost to offset a flight  but other emissions are often more substantive and there is a serious question as to whether the costs charged reflect the true cost of carbon.    One Website for instance, (myClimate), suggests that a round trip from London to New York (Economy Class) causes the emission of 1.8 tonnes CO2 and can be offset for £39 per person (or £21 per tonne CO2).   However, recent analysis suggests that the true cost of carbon is rather more at around £75 per tonne suggesting a more realistic figure is £135 per person or £540 for a family of four.    

Carbon reduction strategies involving projects in developing countries must be carefully considered as to whether they do indeed reduce carbon emission globally.   Thus using offset funds to install solar PV cells in a village which previously had no electricity, though morally admirable, it will not help reduce carbon emissions.   On the other hand if the village had a diesel generator and this was replaced, then there would indeed be a genuine reduction.  Simlarly using the money to install more efficient cooking stoves such as the ones described by Keith Tovey at   Environmental Sustainability – Rotary Great Britain & Ireland – Posts | Facebook can make a substantial saving pf up to around 40 tonnes of CO2e  each year..    It is vital that any disbursement of funds collected from carbon offsetting do fully meet the criteria of additionality.