In writing my other blog posts, I found myself learning about carbon emissions and I thought I would share my findings with you all. Below are definitions of some words and phrases you may or may not have heard been thrown around, but I think it’s pretty cool!
Carbon Neutral – having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference.
Carbon Credits – A carbon credit is a financial instrument that allows the holder, usually companies, to emit one ton of carbon dioxide. Credits are awarded to countries or groups that have reduced their greenhouse gases below their emission quota. Carbon credits can be legally traded in the international market at their current market price. (Investopedia)
Carbon Offsetting – the use of carbon credits to enable businesses to compensate for their emissions, meet their carbon reduction goals and support the move to a low carbon economy. Carbon offsetting delivers finance to essential renewable energy, forestry and resource conservation projects which generate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.In order to ensure this finance produces genuine results, the projects which are supported must be high quality and ‘additional’, proving that they would not happen without the sale of carbon credits. (Carbon Neutral.com)
Becoming carbon neutral (as a company for example) involves measuring, reducing and if required, offsetting carbon emissions. For example, if a company is expected to produce 10 tonnes of carbon emissions, yet it wants to have a neutral carbon footprint, it can purchase 10 carbon credits from certified environmental projects which, in turn, balance and offset their emissions.
In another scenario, a company may only have quota to produce 10 tonnes of carbon emissions, but is expected to produce 11 tonnes, so they can then buy one credit from a carbon credit project to make up for it. If a company needs to buy carbon credits, they are sold in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Projects which sell carbon credits include wind farms which displace fossil fuel, household device projects which reduce fuel requirements for cookstoves and boiling water in low-income households, forest protection from illegal logging, methane capture from landfill gas and agriculture, reforestation for small-hold farmers and run-of-river hydro power and geothermal energy. These projects have to demonstrate that they require carbon finance from the sale of carbon credits in order to be financially viable and achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions. (Carbon Neutral.com)
I don’t know how I never knew any of this before, but I think its quite a bit of interesting stuff! And what a cool system to reduce carbon emissions globally! Peace.