Effective Offsetting

24/05/2022

Is Carbon offsetting effective?

If you have not begun your carbon offsetting (link to carbon offset article) journey, you’re probably questioning the actual effectiveness of these projects on the climate crisis.

Carbon offsetting initiatives have received their fair share of criticism and skepticism, especially off the back of the  #COP26 discussions, questioning exactly how they are improving our environment.

There are two common arguments against carbon offsetting practices:

1. The most common argument against carbon offsetting is that it prevents companies from actively improving their processes to slash carbon emissions, which is arguably more effective and needed in the fight against the climate crisis. For example, a newly planted tree can take many years to capture the emissions that a company has produced, whereas the introduction of more energy-efficient machinery can immediately cut down on the company’s emissions.

2. Offset projects can negatively impact local communities. Often, it is cheaper to set up offsetting projects in less developed regions which can then come at the cost of Indigenous people’s rights, or take away land that would be better used for local community needs. The eviction of the Sengwer Indigenous people in Kenya  is a clear example of this, where ancestral lands were claimed by the government for forest conservation. Action on climate change should not harm anyone, and certainly not negatively impact the already-persecuted people’s land rights

Does this mean we should not offset our carbon at all?

No!

Here’s why:

- Typically, carbon offsets are used as a part, not a replacement, of a businesses’ carbon neutral strategy, to reduce the remaining emissions of their current emission-cutting efforts. Carbon offsetting is recognised as part of the process of achieving the Climate Active Carbon Neutral certification from the Australian government.

- Projects verified by credible organisations like Verra and Gold Standard, where climagap source our projects, are required to protect the interests and rights of relevant stakeholders such as local communities. These projects tend to provide societal benefits to these communities in the process.

In the end, carbon offsetting is not a perfect solution, nor does it replace active carbon reduction measures by a company. But, it is definitely a great starting point and one that will work hand in hand to compliment your carbon neutral strategy. 

Start your offset journey with climagap today! 

Good for Business. Great for the Planet.