Image: David Suzuki Foundation
Which Carbon Offsets Should I Buy?
Carbon offsets are still controversial to many people, in good part because the whole process can sometimes seem to lack transparency (some people don't like them because it seems intuitively unfair to just "pay to absolve your sins", but the atmosphere doesn't care if you reduce your own CO2 or pay someone else to reduce it for you). That's why this Purchasing Carbon Offsets guide for Canadians (but they rank offset companies from around the world, not just from Canada). Which offset companies rank at the top? Read on to find out.
The list ranks each company using 6 criteria (each is weighted between 10 and 20% of the total score): additionality, auditing, unique ownership, permanence, vendor transparency, and public education (for more information on each of those, check the guide, p. 29-32). Information is also given about which types of projects the offset company offers (renewable energy, methane capture, reforestation, etc).
At the top of the list (pdf), with scores between 82 and 85 out of 100 are:
- Less (85% - Canada)
- Climate Friendly (84% - Australia)
- Atmosfair (84% - Germany)
- Planetair (83% - Canada)
- Carbon Zero (82% - Canada)
- LivClean (82% - Canada)
At the very bottom of the list is ZeroCO2 (20% - Canada), a company that does reforestation. In fact, there's a pattern in the list; most of the best ranked companies deal with renewable energy and energy efficiency while most of those that don't score well deal with deforestation and reforestation. In fact, a few of those scored a zero in the "auditing" category, which isn't a good sign at all...
So if you're looking for a guide to carbon offset companies, this is a good start. Even better if you're Canadian, but it can still be useful even if you're somewhere else. The Earth has only one atmosphere, and doesn't care about political borders.
Via David Suzuki Foundation
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