Carbon Neutral is just not enough!

balanceLet’s face it - if someone emits one tonne of carbon in one country and one tonne is offset in another, the net effect is zero.

Here is an analogy that might help: Imagine you have a basket of potatoes and each potato represents one tonne of carbon. Each year you add 20 potatoes into the basket, that is to say you release 20 tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere. You decide to buy certificates to offset the 20 additional potatoes (carbon) you put into the basket. Most people would think that you are paying someone to remove 20 potatoes from your basket, when in fact you are paying someone to remove 20 potatoes from their basket, thereby levelling out the amount of potatoes between the two baskets. So in effect, your 20 tonnes of carbon have no negative impact on the level of carbon in the atmosphere. Some might say this is sufficient, but it stands to reason that, in fact, this transaction may not have had a positive impact on carbon levels either. Let us say we went beyond just carbon neutral and we offset 25 potatoes; this means that someone took 25 potatoes out of their basket on your behalf. Effectively you have neutralised your emission and reduced the level of carbon that would have been emitted into the atmosphere by 5. This is positive impact…

If we only strive to neutralise our carbon emissions, we cannot hope to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on the planet.

Here are some further reasons to go beyond carbon neutral:

Many people around the world live below the 'bread line' and are not able to pay to offset their carbon. While carbon emissions from this sector of the population are not as high as others, they still emit carbon into the atmosphere. This is to say the millions of people emitting carbon without the facility to neutralise their emissions make carbon neutrality among those who can somewhat lacking in positive impact.  

Carbon offset projects create employment and opportunities for financial growth and wellbeing in developing countries. The extra five tonnes of carbon you offset through the voluntary carbon market helps to support families in generating income. Added to this every supported project brings us closer to a low carbon economy.

It must be stated that it is imperative that everybody reduces the amount of carbon they emit, because carbon that is not sent up into the atmosphere in the first place cannot do any damage to the climate. This way you can offset only the carbon emissions you have not been able to eliminate.

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