Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets: All 7 Pros and 3 Cons Explained
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Hey fellow impactful ninja ? You may have noticed that Impactful Ninja is all about providing helpful information to make a positive impact on the world and society. And that we love to link back to where we found all the information for each of our posts. Most of these links are informational-based for you to check out their primary sources with one click. But some of these links are so-called "affiliate links" to products that we recommend. First and foremost, because we believe that they add value to you. For example, when we wrote a post about the environmental impact of long showers, we came across an EPA recommendation to use WaterSense showerheads. So we linked to where you can find them. Or, for many of our posts, we also link to our favorite books on that topic so that you can get a much more holistic overview than one single blog post could provide. And when there is an affiliate program for these products, we sign up for it. For example, as Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. First, and most importantly, we still only recommend products that we believe add value for you. When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission - but at no additional costs to you. And when you buy something through a link that is not an affiliate link, we won’t receive any commission but we’ll still be happy to have helped you. When we find products that we believe add value to you and the seller has an affiliate program, we sign up for it. When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra costs to you). And at this point in time, all money is reinvested in sharing the most helpful content with you. This includes all operating costs for running this site and the content creation itself. You may have noticed by the way Impactful Ninja is operated that money is not the driving factor behind it. It is a passion project of mine and I love to share helpful information with you to make a positive impact on the world and society. However, it's a project in that I invest a lot of time and also quite some money. Eventually, my dream is to one day turn this passion project into my full-time job and provide even more helpful information. But that's still a long time to go. Stay impactful,
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Hey fellow impactful ninja ?
You may have noticed that Impactful Ninja is all about providing helpful information to make a positive impact on the world and society. And that we love to link back to where we found all the information for each of our posts.
Most of these links are informational-based for you to check out their primary sources with one click.
But some of these links are so-called "affiliate links" to products that we recommend.
First and foremost, because we believe that they add value to you. For example, when we wrote a post about the environmental impact of long showers, we came across an EPA recommendation to use WaterSense showerheads. So we linked to where you can find them. Or, for many of our posts, we also link to our favorite books on that topic so that you can get a much more holistic overview than one single blog post could provide.
And when there is an affiliate program for these products, we sign up for it. For example, as Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.
First, and most importantly, we still only recommend products that we believe add value for you.
When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission - but at no additional costs to you.
And when you buy something through a link that is not an affiliate link, we won’t receive any commission but we’ll still be happy to have helped you.
When we find products that we believe add value to you and the seller has an affiliate program, we sign up for it.
When you buy something through one of our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra costs to you).
And at this point in time, all money is reinvested in sharing the most helpful content with you. This includes all operating costs for running this site and the content creation itself.
You may have noticed by the way Impactful Ninja is operated that money is not the driving factor behind it. It is a passion project of mine and I love to share helpful information with you to make a positive impact on the world and society. However, it's a project in that I invest a lot of time and also quite some money.
Eventually, my dream is to one day turn this passion project into my full-time job and provide even more helpful information. But that's still a long time to go.
Energy-efficiency measures could prove critical in the fight against climate change because they use less energy to perform tasks. And since we currently generate most of our energy via fossil fuel combustion, the less energy we use, the fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions enter our atmosphere. So, we had to ask: What are the pros and cons of energy-efficiency carbon offsets?
Energy-efficiency offsets avoid CO2 immediately, improve air quality, reduce deforestation, bolster energy security, promote energy decentralization, and are cost-effective. However, they can also lack additionality, standardization, and monitoring, and do not reduce your own carbon emissions.
Keep reading to find out all about what the pros and cons of energy-efficiency carbon offsets are, how you can offset your carbon footprint with them, how they can mitigate climate change, and what better alternatives to energy-efficiency carbon offsets are.
The Big Picture of Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets
Carbon offsets are reductions in carbon emissions that are used to compensate for carbon emissions occurring elsewhere. They are measured in tons of CO2 equivalents and are bought and sold through international brokers, online retailers, and trading platforms on what is known as the global carbon offset market.
“Carbon Offset: a way for a company or person to reduce the level of carbon dioxide for which they are responsible by paying money to a company that works to reduce the total amount produced in the world, for example by reforestation”Oxford Dictionary
Energy efficiency describes products or systems that use less energy than conventional systems to perform the same task. Energy-efficiency carbon offsets are a specific type of carbon offset that upgrade conventional systems into energy-efficient ones.
“Energy efficiency: the use of less energy to perform the same task or produce the same result.”U.S. Department of Energy
- Energy-efficient solutions for disadvantaged households
- Energy-efficient buildings use less energy to heat and cool
- Energy-efficient facilities use less energy to manufacture goods
- Energy-efficient transportation reduces fuel usage
Some of the most common energy-efficiency projects involve energy-efficient cookstoves, water filtration programs, and co-generation facilities.
In general, energy-efficiency projects save money, increase the resiliency of our power grid, positively impact public health, and mitigate climate change.
|7 Pros of Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets||3 Cons of Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets|
|Energy-efficiency offsets avoid CO2 emissions immediately||Energy-efficiency offsets can lack additionality|
|Energy-efficiency offsets improve air quality||Energy-efficiency offsets can lack standardization and monitoring|
|Energy-efficiency offsets help reduce deforestation and strengthen our natural carbon sinks||Energy-efficiency offsets do not reduce your own carbon emissions, which can lead to greenwashing|
|Energy-efficiency offsets bolster energy security and help transition away from fossil fuels|
|Energy-efficiency offsets promote energy decentralization|
|Energy-efficiency offsets are relatively cost-effective|
|Energy-efficiency offsets allow us to reduce carbon emissions in ways we wouldn’t be able to accomplish individually|
What Are 7 Pros of Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets
Energy-efficiency carbon offsets avoid carbon emissions immediately, improve air quality, reduce deforestation and strengthen our natural carbon sinks, promote energy decentralization, bolster energy security and help transition away from fossil fuels, are relatively cost-effective, and allow us to reduce carbon emissions in ways we wouldn’t be able to accomplish individually.
Pro #1: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Avoid Carbon Emissions Immediately
Energy-efficient practices avoid carbon emissions immediately upon installation.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Pro #1
As soon as energy-efficient mechanisms are installed, switched on, or implemented, they begin reducing CO2 emissions because they use less energy to perform the same task as traditional methods.
The immediate reduction in carbon emissions is important because the average concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere currently registers at over 400 parts per million (ppm). And the rate has increased 100 times faster over the past 60 years.
For example, burning woodfuels alone results in approximately 1 gigaton (1 billion tons) of CO2 equivalents annually, which equals roughly 2% of our global CO2 emissions. Energy-efficient cookstoves can reduce these emissions by an average of 50-80%, which limits the amount of carbon entering our atmosphere. Water filtration programs also reduce the use of traditional firewood as fuel to boil water.
Also, one of the more harmful pollutants released from burning wood fuels is black carbon, which consists mostly of particulate matter (PM) and has a global warming impact that is 460-1,500 times stronger than CO2. If we reduce black carbon emissions, we can reduce global warming impacts at a greater rate.
In short, energy-efficiency practices avoid carbon emissions immediately, which leads to reductions in atmospheric carbon and climate change mitigation.
Pro #2: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Improve Air Quality
Energy efficiency reduces air pollution, which in turn improves public health.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Pro #2
Air pollution is one of the single biggest environmental risks to human health. Fine particulate matter (PM) from wood smoke can lead to asthma, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and other respiratory problems. And excess CO2 in the air increases the formation of smog, which is toxic and amplifies global warming effects.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 3-4 million premature deaths occur annually due to smoke generated by inefficient cooking, heating, and lighting mechanisms. When made to be more energy efficient, these mechanisms can reduce the amount of total air pollution, improving overall air quality and human health as a result. For example, energy-efficient cookstoves can help reduce fuel use and fuel-related harmful emissions by 30-60%.
In short, energy-efficient practices reduce harmful air pollutants that would negatively impact human health.
Pro #3: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Help Reduce Deforestation and Strengthen Our Natural Carbon Sinks
Energy-efficient mechanisms reduce the demand for biomass fuels, which in turn reduces deforestation.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Pro #3
Deforestation is the main threat to our forests, occurring at approximately 10 million hectares (~25 million acres) per year. In total, our planet has lost more than 1/3 of its forest since the last ice age, which occurred about 2.6 million years ago.
For example, energy-efficient cookstoves are one of the most common energy-efficiency offset projects because they can help combat deforestation. Nearly 3 billion people worldwide still rely on biomass (e.g., wood, charcoal, crop residue, dung) for cooking and to meet their energy demands. And up to 34% of wood harvests are obtained via unsustainable practices, leading to forest degradation and deforestation.
Energy-efficient cookstoves and water filtration projects reduce the demand for wood, which in turn reduces the need to cut down trees. This is important in the fight against climate change because globally, forests act as a carbon sink capable of absorbing a net 7.6 billion tons (bt) of CO2 per year. They also are important for producing oxygen, maintaining water quality, and regulating the water cycle.
In short, energy-efficiency offsets can help reduce forest degradation and deforestation because they reduce the demand for wood fuels.
Pro #4: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Bolster Energy Security and Help Transition Away From Fossil Fuels
Energy-efficiency offsets can help reduce reliance on biomass and fossil fuels, leading to increased energy security and energy independence.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Pro #4
Overall, energy-efficient mechanisms use less energy than traditional mechanisms to perform the same task. This reduces overall energy demand, which in turn reduces reliance on imports of biomass fuels or fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, and natural gas).
For example, energy-efficient cookstoves and water filtration projects provide uninterrupted access to energy and clean water, negating the need for a constant supply of woodfuels. And co-generation facilities use surplus waste gasses to generate electricity and steam, reducing the need to import fossil fuels.
Being able to produce your own energy without relying on other entities increases energy security, which is reliable, affordable access to fuels and energy sources. And increased energy security fosters energy independence, which can aid in the transition away from fossil fuels and towards lower carbon options.
In short, energy-efficiency offsets bolster energy security and can lead to energy independence.
Pro #5: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Promote Energy Decentralization
Energy-efficiency offsets promote energy decentralization, which has positive impacts on the environment.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Pro #5
Our traditional power and power-delivery system is centralized, meaning power is generated at a large scale at one location and then transmitted to wherever it is needed. However, a centralized system negatively affects the environment because centralized systems largely depend on nonrenewable resources (i.e., coal and natural gas) to generate electricity.
On the other hand, energy-efficient practices promote energy decentralization, where power is generated at or near locations where it will be used. This decreases the need to transport energy and generates environmental benefits associated with a lower carbon footprint.
For example, clean cookstoves are a decentralized, energy-efficiency solution whereby cookstoves are distributed throughout communities. Rather than depending on power from a central location, individual families can utilize their own power in their homes.
In short, energy-efficiency offsets promote decentralized energy solutions.
Pro #6: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Are Relatively Cost-Effective
Energy-efficiency carbon offsets are one of the most cost-effective methods of carbon emission reduction.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Pro #6
Energy-efficiency carbon offsets are not just cost-effective, but the externality costs of inaction are dire. For example, the total cost of relying on polluting stoves and fuels is estimated to be around $2.5 trillion per year, with the majority of these costs coming from health costs. While the total estimate to provide universal access to clean cooking methods is $4.5 billion (once, not per year). Energy-efficiency carbon offsets are one of the ways to bridge the health gap and make energy-efficient methods more accessible and affordable.
For example, energy-efficiency offsets from leading providers (e.g., Carbonfund, Ecologi, myclimate) cost less than $40 per ton of CO2 offset. Compare this to direct carbon capture offsets which can cost anywhere from $100-$1,200 per ton of CO2.
In short, energy-efficiency carbon offsets are relatively cost-effective when compared to other methods of carbon emission reduction.
Pro #7: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Can Help Offset Carbon Emissions That Can’t Be Reduced Otherwise
Energy-efficiency offsets allow us to reduce carbon emissions in ways we wouldn’t be able to accomplish individually.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Pro #7
Carbon offsets are designed for situations where your emissions are impossible to reduce. We already have governmental-level policies in place to reduce carbon emissions, but carbon offsets allow us to reduce emissions from activities where sustainable alternatives are not yet widely available.
For example, we can only do so much to reduce our individual carbon footprints. Using public transportation, washing with cold water, and switching from single-use to sustainable products lowers our carbon footprint, but it does not eliminate them completely. This is where energy-efficiency offsets come into play, to reduce carbon emissions in other areas as compensation for the remainder of our carbon emissions.
In short, energy-efficiency offsets allow us to reduce carbon emissions in ways we wouldn’t be able to accomplish individually.
What Are 3 Cons of Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets
Energy-efficiency carbon offsets can lack additionality, standardization, and monitoring, and they do not reduce your own carbon emissions which can lead to greenwashing.
Con #1: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Can Lack Additionality
Energy-efficiency offsets often lack additionality because many projects receiving revenue now would have been built regardless.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Con #1
To be beneficial, energy-efficiency offsets must be additional. This means the carbon emissions reductions would not have occurred without intervention.
But energy-efficiency projects are often not additional because many projects receiving revenue now would have been built regardless.
One of the main pros of energy efficiency is lower energy costs, which can drive market expansion. For example, since 2020, global markets have contributed approximately $1 trillion towards energy efficiency-related practices involving buildings, transportation, infrastructure, and electric vehicles. The large demand for energy-efficient practices, in general, means that the infrastructure could have been built independently of energy-efficiency carbon offsets.
In short, additionality is not guaranteed with energy-efficiency offsets because many projects are already in high demand and would have been built regardless.
Con #2: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Can Lack Standardization and Monitoring
The decentralized nature of energy-efficiency offsets can make standardization and monitoring difficult.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Con #2
Energy-efficient practices promote energy decentralization, where power is generated at or near locations where it will be used. And although this decreases the need to transport energy and generates environmental benefits, it can also make project standardization and monitoring difficult.
By nature, centralized solutions are easier to keep track of. But there are different standards for different types of energy-efficiency practices. Appliances, lighting, buildings, cooking, and fuels are held to different standards, making it difficult to standardize energy efficiency as one singular entity.
In short, energy-efficient offsets benefits the environment as a decentralized solution, but they also can lead to a lack of standardization and monitoring.
Con #3: Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Do Not Reduce Your Own Carbon Emissions
Energy-efficiency offsets do not reduce your own carbon emissions, which can lead to greenwashing.Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Con #3
In general, one of the main limitations of carbon offsetting is that purchasing a carbon offset does not directly reduce your carbon footprint. It only makes others reduce their carbon footprint to compensate for your carbon footprint.
If emissions are only offset and not reduced from the source, this could lead to greenwashing, when the consumer is deceived into thinking they are offsetting their emissions but in reality, they are not. Companies accused of greenwashing either invest in non-verified credits, do not prioritize in-house emissions reductions, or double-count carbon credits. Or sometimes, all of the above.
In short, because energy-efficiency offsets do not reduce your own carbon emissions, they could lead to greenwashing.
How Could You Offset Your Own Carbon Footprint With Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets
The market for carbon offsets was small in the year 2000, but by 2010 it had already grown to represent nearly $10 billion worldwide. The voluntary carbon offset market (VCM) is where everyday consumers can purchase carbon offsets to offset their carbon emissions.
The Ecosystem Marketplace predicts the VCM can grow to $50B by the year 2050. And because energy-efficiency carbon offsets are effective and efficient at reducing carbon emissions, they could make up an increasingly larger share of this market. Below are our favorite energy-efficiency offsets.
|Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offset Company||Quick Facts|
|Carbonfund||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including efficient cookstoves, water filtration, waste co-generation, and tailpipe emissions reduction.|
Costs: $16.25-$17.16 per 1,000kg of CO2 for individuals, $390-$1,560 per year for small businesses, determined after initial contact for large businesses
|DelAgua||About: Purchases support the Rwandan clean cookstoves energy-efficiency carbon offset project.|
Costs: Costs are determined after initial contact
|South Pole||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including clean cookstoves in China, Mali, and Rwanda.|
Costs: Costs are determined after initial contact
|Ecologi||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including efficient cookstoves in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, and Honduras.|
Costs: $6.04 per 1,000 kg of CO2 offset
|myclimate||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including efficient cookstoves in Kenya, Bolivia, Peru, and Madagascar. |
Costs: $ 23-$30 per 1,000kg of CO2
|GoClimate||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including the clean-burning stoves in Kenya project.|
Costs: $16.99 per 1,000kg of CO2 for monthly subscriptions, B2B determined after initial contact.
|CarbonClick||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including the Improved Cooking Practices in Nigeria project.|
Costs: $20 per 1,000kg of CO2
|Clear||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including improved cookstoves in Kenya and Malawi.|
Costs: 18.99-$25 per 1,000kg of CO2
|Wren||About: Purchases support the clean cooking fuel for Refugees project in Uganda, which converts farming waste into charcoal bricks to be used as cooking fuel.|
Costs: $19.80 per 1,000 kg of CO2 offset
|Native Energy||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including the Madagascar Solar and Efficient Cookstoves project.|
Costs: $15.50 per 1,000 kg of CO2
|Cool Effect||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including the Breath of Fresh Air clean cookstoves project in Honduras, which builds cookstoves in rural communities.|
Costs: $8.79 – $21.97 per 1,000 kg of CO2
|Zero Smart||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including the efficient cookstoves project in Eritrea, which empowers local women to build, install and maintain fuel-efficient cookstoves.|
Costs: $5.37 – $5.97 per 1,000 kg of CO2
|3Degrees||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including the BioLite Improved Stove Programme in Uganda, which provides communities with ultra-clean burning fan-assisted wood stoves that reduce air pollution.|
Costs: Costs are determined after initial contact
|Co2nsensus||About: Purchases support energy-efficiency carbon offset projects including efficient cookstoves in Kenya and geothermal and solar energy in Turkey.|
Costs: Costs are determined after initial contact
How Can Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Help Mitigate Climate Change
Climate change is a severe and long-term consequence of fossil fuel combustion. Energy-efficiency carbon offsets can help mitigate climate change because they eliminate fossil-fuel-derived carbon from our atmosphere which, if left untreated, can remain there for tens of thousands of years and exacerbate the negative effects of climate change.
How is Climate Change Defined
Climate change is arguably the most severe, long-term global impact of fossil fuel combustion. Every year, approximately 33 billion tons (bt) of CO2 are emitted from burning fossil fuels. The carbon found in fossil fuels reacts with oxygen in the air to produce CO2.
“Climate change: changes in the earth’s weather, including changes in temperature, wind patterns and rainfall, especially the increase in the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere that is caused by the increase of particular gasses, especially carbon dioxide.”Oxford Dictionary
Atmospheric CO2 fuels climate change, which results in global warming. When CO2 and other air pollutants absorb sunlight and solar radiation in the atmosphere, it traps the heat and acts as an insulator for the planet. Since the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s temperature has risen a little more than 1 degree Celsius (C), or 2 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Between 1880-1980 the global temperature rose by 0.07C every 10 years. This rate has more than doubled since 1981, with a current global annual temperature rise of 0.18C, or 0.32F, for every 10 years.
How Do Carbon Offsets Generally Help Mitigate Climate Change
Levels of carbon in our atmosphere that cause climate change have increased as a result of human emissions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1750. The global average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today registers at over 400 parts per million. Carbon offsets can help prevent these levels from increasing even more.
When you hear the words “carbon offset”, think about the term “compensation”. Essentially, carbon offsets are reductions in GHG emissions that are used to compensate for emissions occurring elsewhere.
Carbon offsets that meet key criteria and verified project standards, are additional and permanent, and are part of projects that are carried out until the end of their lifespan have the best chance of reducing carbon emissions and therefore reducing climate change.
When we offset CO2 we also slow the rate of global temperature rise, which in turn minimizes the effects of climate change.
How Do Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets Specifically Help Mitigate Climate Change
Energy-efficiency offsets help eliminate CO2 emissions from direct fossil fuel combustion and from indirect electricity generation. By using energy-efficient appliances and methodologies, we reduce the amount of CO2 entering our atmosphere. And because higher levels of atmospheric carbon exacerbate global warming, less is better.
What Are Better Alternatives to Energy-Efficiency Carbon Offsets
If used correctly, energy-efficiency carbon offsets can provide environmental, economic, and social benefits beyond reducing carbon emissions. They have the potential to instigate meaningful environmental change and begin to reverse some of the effects of climate change.
However, we can’t let this method be a guilt-free way to reduce carbon emissions. Energy-efficiency offsets must be used in conjunction with direct carbon reduction measures so that we are directly reducing emissions as well as avoiding them.
These reduction measures don’t have to involve drastic changes either. Actions that may seem small can have a big impact because those small changes add up! You can reduce your carbon footprint in three main areas of your life: household, travel, and lifestyle.
Reduce your household carbon footprint:
- Wash with cold water: Washing clothes in cold water could reduce carbon emissions by up to 11 million tons. Approximately 90% of the energy is used to heat the water, so switching to cold saves also saves energy.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with fluorescent bulbs: Fluorescent bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent ones, saving energy and thus reducing electricity demand and GHG emissions.
Reduce your travel carbon footprint:
- Fly less: Aviation accounts for around 1.9% of global carbon emissions and 2.5% of CO2. Air crafts run on jet gasoline, which is converted to CO2 when burned.
- Walk or bike when possible: The most efficient ways of traveling are walking, bicycling, or taking the train. Using a bike instead of a car can reduce carbon emissions by 75%. These forms of transportation also provide lower levels of air pollution.
Reduce your lifestyle carbon footprint:
- Switch to renewable energy sources: The six most common types of renewable energy are solar, wind, hydro, tidal, geothermal, and biomass energy. They are a substitute for fossil fuels that can reduce the effects of global warming by limiting global carbon emissions and other pollutants.
- Recycle: Recycling uses less energy and deposits less waste in landfills. Less manufacturing and transportation energy costs means fewer carbon emissions generated. Less waste in landfills means less CH4 is generated.
- Switch from single-use to sustainable products: Reusing products avoids resource extraction, reduces energy use, reduces waste generation, and can prevent littering.
- Eat less meat and dairy: Meat and dairy account for 14.5% of global GHG emissions, with beef and lamb being the most carbon-intensive. Globally, we consume much more meat than is considered sustainable, and switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet could reduce emissions.
- Take shorter showers: Approximately 1.2 trillion gallons of water are used each year in the United States for showering purposes, and showering takes up about 17% of residential water usage. The amount of water consumed and the energy cost of that consumption are directly related. The less water we use the less energy we use. And the less energy we use, the less of a negative impact we have on the environment.
Because energy-efficiency offsets are an indirect way and not a direct way of reducing emissions, they alone will not be enough to reduce global carbon emissions significantly. Direct measures of emission reductions, such as reducing individual energy use and consumption, are better alternatives to energy-efficiency offsets.
Energy-efficiency carbon offsets avoid carbon emissions immediately, improve air quality, reduce deforestation and strengthen our natural carbon sinks, promote energy decentralization, bolster energy security and help transition away from fossil fuels, are relatively cost-effective, and allow us to reduce carbon emissions in ways we wouldn’t be able to accomplish individually. However, they can also lack additionality, standardization, and monitoring, and they do not reduce your own carbon emissions which can lead to greenwashing.
For all of the good carbon offsets can instigate, they should not be seen as the only solution to climate change. They are effective at reducing CO2 in the short term, but in the long term, they fail to reduce CO2 enough. When used in conjunction with direct CO2 reduction measures, carbon offsetting can be much more effective. We should reduce our own carbon footprint as much as possible first, and only then choose the most effective energy-efficiency carbon offsets.
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- South Pole: Homepage
- GoClimate: Homepage
- CarbonClick: Homepage
- Clear: Homepage
- Wren: Homepage
- Native Energy: Homepage
- Cool Effect: Homepage
- Zero Smart: Homepage
- 3Degrees: Homepage
- Co2nsensus: Homepage
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