The solution is, in a way, quite simple. We need to reduce all human made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero. Ultimately this will be achieved by:
  • Fully Decarbonising Electricity Generation (making it zero carbon e.g. from renewable energy sources)
  • Fully Decarbonising Transport (cars, trucks, aircraft, ships etc.)
  • Stopping Deforestation (this currently contributes around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Planting lots more trees (trees sequester the carbon already in the atmosphere and store it away)
  • Reduce emissions from farming / agriculture and significantly reducing the consumption of meat (especially red meat)
Whilst positive progress is being made in many of these key areas, there is still much more to be done. Until we reach these goals, we also need to reduce energy consumption across the board to slow down the rate of climate change.
Carbon offsetting is about funding projects that help reduce carbon emissions by a measurable and verifiable amount. Without the extra “carbon upfront investment” from people or organisations offsetting their emissions, these projects would not have happened.
Individual carbon offset projects around the world are being set up thanks to carbon upfront investment provided by individuals and organisations offsetting their emissions. These projects include renewable energy generation, improving energy efficiency, reducing deforestation and planting more trees. The projects Carbon Offsets Australia Pty Ltd deliver are primarily large-scale reforestation projects as they are the simplest way to combat carbon emissions and they provide sustainable employment opportunities for disadvantaged Indigenous people. Our projects all meet the Australian Clean Energy Regulator carbon offsetting standards and are rigorously inspected and regularly audited to assure that they are generating the carbon reductions. Carbon credits are only issued once these carbon savings have been made and verified. These carbon credits are purchased before they are created by our customers and clients who then use them to offset the unavoidable emissions they generate. Your offsetting program with Carbon Offsets Australia Pty Ltd is focused on retiring these carbon credits so that they cannot be used by other individuals or organisations. This then encourages the development of more carbon reduction programs.

This has some truth to it and we should all try and reduce emissions as much as possible. However, it is not currently possible to reduce emissions to zero on a global level. There currently isn’t enough renewable (or zero carbon) electricity to meet the global energy demand. There isn’t currently anywhere near enough zero carbon forms of transport that can be practically used to meet the needs of international trade. No matter what you do to reduce your energy consumption and carbon footprint you are almost certainly going to still be responsible for some carbon emissions – not just from your direct energy usage, but indirectly from things you buy and services you use.

By supporting our carbon offsetting projects, you are supporting one of the fastest, easiest and effective solutions to combat climate change, through choosing to help fund teams working to reduce deforestation (which currently contributes around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions); and helping plant more trees to capture and store carbon that has already been emitted into the atmosphere.

In a Utopian world, every organisation would be able to reduce its carbon emissions to zero – and perhaps even be net positive (e.g. with sufficient access to on-site renewable power and export to the National Grid). In practice, this is far more difficult, not only down to capital investment needs, but also cultural barriers and supply chain decisions (particularly relating to transport/travel).

There are several further benefits for offsetting with projects outside your own organisation. Frequently these projects are more cost effective than reducing CO2 on-site (this can cost in excess of 10 x more depending on where your organisation is located). Also, frequently the projects are providing additional benefits which include things like local employment, health and education.

The vast majority of organisations claiming carbon neutrality are achieving this with at least some carbon offsetting. Global brands that offset include Microsoft, DHL, Marks & Spencer, Sky etc., whilst having programmes to reduce emissions they also support global carbon offsetting initiatives – recognising the importance of the global solution.

Carbon Offsets Australia Pty Ltd is certified under the Clean Energy Regulator (CER). Originally set up by the Australian Government. We are also a member of the Carbon Ethical Council. The CER has a rigorous process to allocate carbon credits (which we refer to as offsets here). As part of that process we are required to provide regular auditing reports to ensure our offsets have been produced according to the CER standards.

Carbon offsets are retired on international carbon registries – such as Markit, APX and Gold Standard these will either be retired in the name of Carbon Offsets Australia Pty Ltd or in the name of the client (as requested by the client). All Carbon Offsets Australia carbon retirements are audited as part of the CER process to check that we have retired enough carbon credits of the appropriate type and standards to meet all out annual carbon offset sales.

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