How does offsetting work?
Offset units are used to compensate for emissions a business produces and to bring their carbon footprint down to zero. Offset units are generated by projects that reduce, remove or capture emissions from the atmosphere such as reforestation, renewable energy or energy efficiency.
For example, a project may reduce emissions by changing the timing of savanna burning in Northern Australia or capture emissions by re-vegetating a large area of land. One carbon credit is issued for each tonne of emissions avoided, removed or captured from the atmosphere.
There are numerous different projects generating offsets in Australia and around the world. To be certified, Climate Active members are required to use offsets that result in genuine emissions reduction.
And when you purchase Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) the benefits go directly to Australian communities and our environment.
Australia’s carbon marketplace is a great place to find out about carbon offset projects in Australia producing ACCUs.
Offsets are more than carbon
While carbon offset projects prevent, reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere - that's not all they do.
Often these projects have other benefits such enhanced biodiversity, habitat protection, creating employment, helping people to live and work on country, improving health and education, and providing access to clean and affordable energy.
Co-benefits include many aspects of life:
- Environmental benefits include increased biodiversity, maintaining habitat for native animal and plant species, improved local air and water quality, avoiding vegetation clearance, re-establishing vegetation on previously cleared areas, and improved environmental management.
- Social and cultural benefits are the positive aspects for communities where a project is based such as employment for local people, living and working on country, capacity building, improved health and education, and access to clean and affordable energy.
- Economic benefits occur when income from the sale of offset credits flows to the community where a project is located and often translates into employment and community support, improved infrastructure, technology transfer, and increased economic activity.