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Carbon Credit FAQs
Why have we aligned with Climate Friendly?
Since 2003 Climate Friendly has been helping its customers offset emissions from business, home, travel and other activities. Climate Friendly is a 'profit for purpose' company and provides innovative, highest quality carbon management solutions to businesses and individuals globally. Climate Friendly makes it quick and easy to take immediate, meaningful action on climate change by supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that effectively stop carbon emissions.
The integrity and quality of Climate Friendly’s service has attracted a host of progressive companies, government bodies and leading environment groups from all across the world, including WWF internationally, Australian Conservation Foundation, The Body Shop and Qantas.
Climate Friendly supports renewable energy projects like wind and small scale hydro electricity that directly address the root cause of global warming through replacing fossil fuels with clean energy production. So we are assured that when we offset our emissions that we’re going a step beyond cancelling our emissions – we’re accelerating the transition to a clean energy future and contributing to the long-term solutions of climate change.
Climate Friendly’s air travel calculator uses the latest methods and assumptions from the most reputable scientific sources, including the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a joint initiative of the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
If my country has a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme, will my action still help?
Yes, it most certainly will. Voluntary action builds on and goes beyond the very modest emission reduction targets set under national carbon management programs. For example the Australian governments climate change policies aim to reduce national emissions by a mere 5%. Far more than this is needed in order to effectively combat climate change. Any additional action that you take to voluntarily reduce and/or offset your emissions will be a valuable contribution to this enormous challenge.
National emission reduction legislation is typically focused on the largest polluters, which means that most organisations are only indirectly affected, for example through higher energy costs. But even if your company does have direct obligations, voluntary action should still be an important element of your environmental management program - no company has ever been praised or rewarded simply for meeting its regulatory requirements, whereas voluntary action will set you apart from your competitors in the eyes of customers, staff and the wider community. Furthermore, as large companies work ever harder to reduce their own emissions, they are also exerting increasing pressure down through their supply chains by requiring that suppliers of goods and services meet high environmental management criteria in order to win or retain their business.
In this context, a strong emission reduction and offset policy is rapidly becoming a commercial, not just environmental, imperative.
Which renewable energy projects will my carbon credits come from?
We choose to support projects that contribute towards sustainable development and have proven benefits to the local community, such as:
- Bienaihe Micro Hydro Project, China
- Taohuashan Micro Hydro Project, China
- Dora-1 Geothermal Turkey
- Tamil Nadu Wind Farm, India
All of Climate Friendly’s projects are certified under the highest international standards for carbon offset projects, namely the Verified Carbon Standard and the Gold Standard. Climate Friendly’s sourcing principles are supported and endorsed by NGOs internationally and guarantee that all of our carbon credit projects:
- Address the root cause of climate change - they only select projects that drive the transition to sustainable use of energy and resources
- Are permanent - they only select credits from projects that are guaranteed to permanently reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without risk of reversal
- Are verifiable - All of their projects are independently verified by accredited third party experts and are real and tangible
- Are synchronous - The abatement from their renewable energy projects is closely matched to the time our customers' emissions occur
- Are additional - their projects are over and above 'business as usual', i.e. projects that would not occur without outside investment through carbon credits
- Are project/community based - they do not purchase allowances issued under national or regional emissions reduction schemes
- Contribute to sustainable development - they select projects with broader environmental and social benefits beyond climate change
- Are exclusive - they ensure that there is no double counting of carbon credits from the projects
What is a carbon credit?
One carbon credit represents 1 tonne of CO2 that has been prevented from entering the atmosphere and causing climate change, e.g. through the use of renewable energy in place of fossil fuel. The carbon credits from the international renewable energy projects that World Expeditions supports are an internationally recognised measure of how much greenhouse gas reduction those renewable energy projects are creating.
Why this helps the clean energy industry?
Renewable energy currently costs more to produce than burning fossil fuels. The extra income renewable generators earn from selling carbon credits is the key factor that helps make renewable energy sources economically viable so that we can make the urgent transition from unsustainable polluting energy to clean sources. This is necessary to address climate change.
Why have we chosen to invest in renewable resources as opposed to carbon sequestration (tree planting)?
Although World Expeditions acknowledges that tree-planting can play a role in a global greenhouse gas abatement strategy, we do not feel it is the most effective way to source carbon credits. A reason we choose to work with Climate Friendly is because they focus primarily on renewable energy solutions, a more effective approach that actually prevents emissions. We believe that tree-planting (carbon sequestration) schemes are less effective in combating climate change for the following reasons:
- Climate change is largely caused by greenhouse gases from the energy sector (about 80% of all emissions); therefore our focus is on the energy sector
- Forestry projects do nothing to lessen society’s dependence on fossil fuels for energy generation and they do not prevent emissions
- Trees take decades to sequester CO2 as they grow, meaning your greenhouse emissions will continue to contribute towards global warming for many more years
- Large-scale monoculture plantations often used can have negative impacts on the environment and forest communities
Why are there differences in the cost of offsetting emissions across different carbon calculators?
- How the flight emissions are calculated: When calculating the climate impact of air travel Climate Friendly takes into account the latest research from leading scientific sources to reflect the full impact of flying, including non-CO2 emissions and the effect of releasing emissions at high altitude, rather than just the direct emissions from burning fuel. This makes a big difference to the end result. We believe it is very important that our travellers are aware that just neutralising the fuel burned would not fully neutralise their flight emissions.
- What kind of credits are purchased to offset the flight emissions: Climate Friendly only purchases independently verified carbon credits that meet the highest international standards such as the Verified Carbon Standard and the Gold Standard, which guarantees that the emission savings have actually occurred, and that a number of other important criteria (social and environmental impacts, double-counting, etc) have been met. Whilst cheap credits may be available in the market, these are often certified against less rigorous standards, or in some cases may not be independently certified at all, leading to a risk that the emission reductions have not been accurately calculated or have not even taken place.
It is important to keep in mind that when a half measure on the climate impact of your flight is combined with a cheap carbon credit the end pricing will be significantly cheaper. If you feel that the cost of your carbon credit is too expensive we believe it is better for you to commit to just half of the offset rather than pay for a cheap ‘junk’ credit.