Updated: Jan 15, 2020
This topic attracted a lot of attention at the recent Tring Climate event. This is a simple "how to" make your own carbon offsets and is based on Brian Kazer's excellent presentation.
Carbon Offsetting is a way to cancel out CO2 emissions by funding other activities that remove or prevent the emission of an equivalent volume of CO2. See our earlier article here.
"Measure : Reduce : Offset".
Before offsetting, reduce your carbon footprint as much as you can. Could you travel by rail, not fly? Could you do business by video link rather than flying? The following are approaches to offset CO2 emissions for flying: cruises: own/family annual carbon footprint.....
Gold Standard (founded by WWF)
With this scheme you can easily donate your offset to a project of your choice.
https://www.goldstandard.org/take-action/offset-your-emissions gives the tonnes CO2 of flight. Scroll down to get to their projects. Click the one(s) of interest to get more info. Cost per tonne CO2 given in $US. Assume parity with the £, and on the “1-tonne” little box use the up and down arrow to enter your flight CO2 in tonnes (round up). Then add to cart and proceed to check out/payment.
Atmosfair (this scheme does not do forest projects – see below for reasons)
Note your climate impact (footprint) in kg CO2, and the compensation amount (in Euros).
Scroll down this page to find “projects by technology”, and click on them to see the range of projects currently being funded. It isn’t possible to choose a specific project to which to donate (see their FAQ’s for reasons) Then donate by clicking “offset/donate” on the toolbar, hover over the donation amount box, and scroll to get to the amount of euros that the flight CO2 calculator gave you, and donate. (This is a Germany based scheme. )
Here’s why they do not support forestry projects https://www.atmosfair.de/en/standards/forest_projects/
Climate Stewards (used by some TinT members. It is one of the smaller schemes. UK based)
On the toolbar, click “projects”. On the drop down list click any of interest for excellent info.
Back on the toolbar click “offset”. Click airplane symbol for flight CO2, and enter flight details. Note amount of donation (and the CO2 footprint!). Click on “donate” on toolbar. To max your contribution use their bank transfer system for the donation cost of your flight.
After entering the simple information requested, click “calculate” to get your CO2 footprint on your cruise. Click the “GBP” to convert to £ sterling. Can then select a specific project to which to donate. This is a Swiss based scheme. If you prefer to offset to a UK scheme, note the calculated CO2 tonnes footprint and donate to either Gold Standard or Climate Stewards.
For own/family carbon footprint...
Carbon footprint calculator: https://www.climatestewards.org/offset/
Click on the airplane, car, etc symbols, in turn, to enter the info requested and get the CO2 footprint for each element. Then, follow the on-screen instructions.
See above section on Climate Stewards on how to access info about their projects.
If you prefer to give to a specific project of your choice, see Gold Standard, above, for the “how to”.
Before offsetting, have you reduced your carbon footprint as much as you can?
Brian Kazer, November 2019.