Voluntary compensation of greenhouse gas emissions is taking off

German businesses and organisations are increasingly offsetting their greenhouse gas emissions through financial support of climate change projects without being obligated to do so.


This is shown by a recently published study, commissioned by the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), and jointly undertaken by adelphi and sustainable. The study analyses the development of a German market for voluntary compensation of greenhouse gases. Authors Christian Kind, Sebastian Duwe, Dennis Taenzler and Lena Reuster show that this market is playing an important role for consumer-driven climate protection, as long as the quality of the certificates can be ensured in the long-term. The multitude of projects offered and the varying quality standards, however, make it difficult for consumers to quickly identify the best offers. A poll realised undertaken over the course of the project shows a large demand for an international seal of quality.

In addition to the study, adelphi designed an information platform on this topic. Starting in February 2011 the platform will present the main outcomes of the study, and provide additional information on the purchase of compensation certificates.

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Link to the publication: