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What is carbon offsetting and why is it so important?

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Carbon Offsetting

‘Carbon offsetting’ has been getting a fair amount of airtime lately. But, what exactly is it and why is it so important? Here, the experts at Flogas unmuddy the waters.

One rising issue that the UK faces is how to tackle climate change. As our populations and economies grow, the environment is feeling the strain of our increased energy needs. This means we all need to look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and quickly. 

For some, choosing to reduce the amount of plastic we use, recycle more, or even turning down the thermostat in our home by one degree, the journey towards a greener way of living has already begun.

Despite this, more is needed to be done. Last year the UK government announced plans to achieve ‘Net Zero’ status by the year 2050, a target which aims to stop the UK from contributing to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. 

However, public awareness on how this will be achieved is still lacking. In fact, a recent report from the Citizens Advice Bureau found that just 38% of us are aware we’ll need to change the way our home is heated if we’re to achieve the goal of Net Zero by 2050.

The reality is, until the day comes where we are entirely carbon neutral, creating a carbon footprint is unavoidable. From heating our homes and offices, to driving our cars or even making a cup of tea, it’s inevitable that we can’t always live up to the green standards we’d like to. 

However, for those wanting to find ways to avoid being accountable for some of these inescapable emissions, there is a solution – carbon offsetting. Here, we look through the benefits and how it can lead to a greener life. 

Carbon Offsetting chart

Defining carbon offsetting

For the emissions that can’t be prevented, carbon offsetting provides an alternative to this. A process in which people compensate their emissions by funding projects that provide sustainable development in communities around the world. These projects offer an equivalent reduction in emissions to those you create; either counteracting or absorbing carbon dioxide and bringing balance to the environment.

For many big brands, this strategy has already been adopted. The likes of EasyJet, Shell and Gucci, all now use carbon offsetting to help improve the environmental impact of their businesses. 

The importance of carbon offsetting 

When emissions can’t be avoided, carbon offsetting allows for people to make a positive contribution to the environment. 

These causes have also received huge funding, helping to improve the economic, social and health situation to whole communities. With people at the heart of carbon offsetting, as well as ecosystems, it allows us to begin future proofing for a cleaner, greener world.  

Why choose to carbon offset my emissions? 

All of us have a shared responsibility to lower carbon emissions for the future. For the likes of homeowners, this means being given the chance to balance their carbon footprint. For the environmentally conscious and those looking to reduce their impact on the climate, carbon offsetting gives them the tools to make a difference. 

Whilst it shouldn’t be used as a standalone approach and is best used as part of a wider carbon reduction strategy, it will help people reduce their impact on the environment. Additional changes that individuals make in order to lower the impact they have on the environment is by switching from gas to Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

Offsetting the carbon emissions I can’t control?

From helping some of the poorest households in West Africa to access eco-friendly cooking equipment, to supplying clean hydroelectric power to the local grid in rural China, there are a diverse number of benefits to carbon offsetting. 

One example is the Kariba REDD+ Forest Protection project in Zimbabwe, Africa. Since its launch in 2011, it’s avoided more than 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere and has prevented deforestation in an area of nearly 750,000 hectares. 

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