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The social side of carbon offsets

ClimateFriendly · 18 Apr 2013

Offsetting works as credits for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions made from primarily renewable energy projects such as wind, solar, hydro or renewable biomass that replaces fossil fuel power generation. Carbon offsets are quantified and sold in metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). In short, it's an eye for an eye mentality as for every tonne of carbon credit you purchase, one tonne of carbon emissions is prevented from being released into the atmosphere.

Most think this is where it ends, but really this is when it starts to get interesting! In recent years there has been a more social focus to carbon offsets. However, unfortunately these social benefits often go unrecognised by the general public. Here at Climate Friendly we pride ourselves on ensuring we deliver on our promise of not only supplying carbon credits but sourcing projects that deliver many additional benefits to the local community that they are situated in.

A fantastic example is the Cambodian Cookstove Project. This project was initially created in order to address the health, energy and environmental problems related to traditional household cooking practices in rural communities in Cambodia. This project involves the large-scale production and dissemination of energy-efficient household cookstoves which save on fuel consumption. Although this change does not sound big it leads to many additional benefits that are outlined below:

  • Reduced deforestation in the region hence reduced pressure on Cambodia's valuable biodiversity.
  • Improved health and livelihoods of stove users due to the reduction of indoor air pollution from previous wood stoves.
  • Greater gender equality as traditionally women and children were responsible for collecting the wood. The time saved can now be dedicated to health, education or income generating projects.
  • The money saved by families on fuel expenses can now be spent on health, education or new economic activities.

If you would like any more information on this project or the others visit Climate Friendly's Projects. Otherwise please tell us how you see offsets forming part of your carbon management plan? We'd love to hear from you. Join in the conversation today on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or contact us.

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