Translated title: "Voluntary CO2 compensations through climate action projects – a guide for individuals and companies"
Every individual can reduce or avoid their carbon dioxide emissions by following a sustainable lifestyle and making climate-friendly choices on a daily basis. Once all options of reduction and avoidance are exhausted, voluntary carbon offsetting can come into play to compensate for remaining emissions, caused by travel, diet, heating or other activities. Companies can also revert to this option, in order to neutralize their operations. Voluntary offsetting means calculating emissions of an individual company and buying an equal amount of offset certificates to support climate projects elsewhere.
To inform the public about voluntary carbon offsetting and provide guidance for the process, adelphi, together with sustainable, has developed the guide “Freiwillige CO2-Kompensation durch Klimaschutzprojekte” on behalf of the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt – UBA). In a very accessible manner, the guide explains when voluntary offsetting is useful, what steps are required, and what quality gaps exist between different certificates. It evaluates the most common quality standards available in Germany (CDM, VCS, PlanVivo, Gold Standard, ISO 14064, CCBS, Social Carbon and MoorFutures) and offers concrete tips on how to find trustworthy vendors. To assure that individuals as well as companies will be able to make a mindful and good choice, the information is summed up into four easy steps at the end of the guide.
adelphi and sustainable have analysed the German market for voluntary offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2017, they conducted the third survey. Among other things, the results show that the market is growing steadily and recorded twice as many decommissioning certificates in 2016 as in 2012. Please find in this presentation all the results in detail (in German only).