Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Why carbon offsetting should be a last resort

I've published a revised article on this topic here: Cyberium website

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Agree, carbon offsetting must happen only AFTER a real emissions reduction so you hence only offset what you cannot realistically reduce. But consider this;

If all 27 million UK households physically reduce by 1 tonne that saves the carbon equivalent of 27 medium sized power stations (such as Deeside).

If they additionally (i.e. not in substitution) offset just 1 tonne supporting real emissions reduction projects (using CERs) that's now the equivalent of 54 gone.

However, because the cost of reducing emissions in the developing world via the UN Clean Development Mechanism is cheaper than here, that's potentially the equivalent of perhaps 70 gone.

Then after the tangible project based investment has been made, the CER can be cancelled and removed from the EU-ETS and that reduces the emissions cap on Europe potentially inspiring yet another reduction. But this is secondary and less certin until the over allocation by certain governments has been washed out by phase II.

So offsetting can increase the 'power of one' dramatically - but I wholly agree one must first take measures to reduce as far as one can and then offset only your residual carbon.