Carbon offsets are a way to offset greenhouse gas emissions by financing projects that reduce or remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. These projects can include renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, as well as reforestation and other activities that sequester carbon.
Individuals and businesses that produce high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, such as factories and power plants, can purchase carbon offsets as a way to offset their emissions and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.
Carbon offsets are bought and sold on carbon markets, such as Evergreen Carbon Offsets, the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). The price of carbon offsets is determined by supply and demand, with the goal of incentivizing businesses to reduce their emissions.
There are two types of carbon offsets: compliance offsets, which are used by businesses to meet regulatory emissions limits, and voluntary offsets, which are purchased by individuals or businesses as a voluntary measure to offset their emissions.
Carbon offset projects are evaluated by third-party organizations, such as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Gold Standard, to ensure that they are legitimate and effective at reducing or removing carbon from the atmosphere.
Together, we can address climate change and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.