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Monday, 16 December 2013
Carbon offsetting in action
Carbon offsetting schemes have often come under fire, chiefly because some of these schemes have been in dubious projects with limited (and sometimes non-existent) impact on reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
However, genuine carbon reduction schemes do exist and make a valuable contribution to protecting the environment.
One such example is run by the insurance company Climatesure. When you buy a policy, Climatesure will calculate the carbon dioxide you produce by flying overseas and pay for it to be ‘offset’ by Climate Care, a leading carbon offset company. This payment is part of the price, and doesn’t cost you any extra.
One of the projects funded includes renewable power in India, introducing stoves into schools that run off a renewable fuel source, replacing stoves that use fossil fuel LPG. Crop waste is being used to make biomass briquettes for the stoves, providing an extra income to farmers. For the schools this is good news because the new renewable fuel is cheaper. This project is expected to save 11,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
Another project supplies efficient lighting in South Africa, working with organisations including community groups and housing associations to install energy efficient lighting into people's homes. Most of the lamps are being installed in low income households – and use only a fifth of the electricity when compared to a standard bulb. Expected savings are 14,100 tonnes of carbon emissions.