Carbon Offset Explained: A Simple Guide to Achieving Carbon Neutrality

Each year, a massive 5.5 billion tons of carbon is released by burning fossil fuels. Of this, 3.3 billion tons stays in the atmosphere, heating our home planet.
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  • {{"article.posted"|translate}} 05-05-2021

Carbon Offset Explained: A Simple Guide to Achieving Carbon Neutrality

Each year, a massive 5.5 billion tons of carbon is released by burning fossil fuels. Of this, 3.3 billion tons stays in the atmosphere, heating our home planet.


By 2050, we may lose every sixth species to extinction, COVID-19 will be the first of many pandemics, and 300 million people will struggle with annual floods and constant displacement. That’s to name just a few ‘inconveniences’. One (at least, partial) solution is carbon offsetting.


What will happen if we don’t take serious action against climate warming?

Well, by 2050,  we may lose every sixth species to extinction, COVID-19 will be the first of many pandemics, and 300 million people will struggle with annual floods and constant displacement. That’s to name just a few ‘inconveniences’. One (at least, partial) solution is carbon offsetting. The popularization of the term ‘carbon offset’ started in the first decade of the 21st century when the growing concern about CO2 levels as a serious atmospheric pollutant grew. 

What is carbon offset?

Carbon offsetting means compensating for the carbon dioxide pollution you make by either:

🌿 Preventing this amount of pollution occurring elsewhere

🌿 Pulling this amount of CO2 back out of the atmosphere and storing it in nature 

Think of it like balancing out your harmful actions to the environment. 

Put simply: carbon  offset is any activity that compensates for the emission of CO2 or any other greenhouse gas emissions by providing for an emission reduction elsewhere. 

Because greenhouse gases are widespread in Earth’s  atmosphere, any reduction of carbon emissions helps, regardless of where it happens.  But how much CO2 is in the atmosphere? Carbon levels are the highest they’ve been at any point in the last 800 000 years. Some say it’s the worst it’s been anytime in the last 3 million years. There’s 417 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, according to data from 2020. The global average in 2019 was 409.8 ppm.

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Text is published on Single.Earth website: https://cutt.ly/WbmMLz2

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