Home » Society and Culture » Environment

Picking A Good Carbon Offsetter

Sep 9, 2008
Picking a good carbon offset provider can be very tricky and usually can take some work. There are some generally accepted key principles that you want to keep in mind while picking an offset provider. Most large offset providers have third party verification, which is when an outside company verifies that the offset provider says they are doing what they are actually doing. Another important principle is permanence; the carbon that is offset is truly permanently not created. The last principle is additionally; the offset can not be business as usual.

You also then have to think about what kind of project you want to be involved in since there are many projects out there. Tree planting is by far the most popular and the most controversial. The key issue is that trees can die from drought, fire, or disease before they offset the promised amount of carbon. When trees are burned in a fire they will release carbon into the air, the exact opposite of what you want them to do. If you follow the news closely, there is new research out almost every week saying trees absorb more carbon than originally thought and a week later the news is that trees absorb less carbon then originally thought. I suggest that you stay away from trees as an offset project.

There are many other great offset projects like: renewable energy certificates, methane capture, and energy reductions. Each renewable energy certificate (RECs, Green Tags) is the creation of 1 megawatt of power usually from a wind turbine. Wind turbine construction is EXTREMELY expensive and selling RECs is a way to pay for it.

Cow dung historically was collected into big pools and allowed to just biodegrade, a byproduct of the biodegradation is methane. Methane is 10 times more potent a green house gas as carbon. One common offset project is to cover the dung fields capture the methane and use it to generate power.

Energy reductions is another important and under rated project. Companies can do many things to reduce the carbon foot print of existing buildings and new construction. There can be such a large reduction in carbon production that you can sell them as an offset project.

There are a few things that I think are important when evaluating a carbon offset provider. I hate when the provider pools your money and can not specify the project. The provider offers more then just tree planting, because it is not the best offset project. Most people tell you third party verification is king, a small provider that is doing a really great project can't necessary afford to pay for outside verification.
About the Author
James Nash is a climate scientist with Greatest Planet (www.greatestplanet.org). Greatest Planet is a non-profit environmental organization specialising in carbon offset investments.

James Nash is solely responsible for the contents of this article.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 146
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources