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Carbon offsetting is the name given to a credit system, called carbon credits, which aims to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon credits allow companies to pollute but at a cost.
This cost encourages companies to search for other ways of production by polluting less or
not at all.
Carbon credits come in two forms:
Certified: these are international exchanges which aim to cut overall emissions, such as the
EU's Emissions Trading Scheme. Countries, as well as companies, are given targets,
allowing them to pollute a certain amount. Trading is allowed if a country has more or needs
Voluntary: These are payments or projects which offset emissions with equivalent CO2
savings. They are used where people or organisations volunteer to offset the pollution they
create, such as Coldplay whose treeplanting programmes work by removing the emission
produced throughout their recording process by carbon sequestration.
Carbon sequestration is where natural processes, such as plant respiration, are used to
offset carbon emissions. Trees absorb CO2 and give out oxygen, thus removing greenhouse
gases from the atmosphere.
Private companies (Shell)
+ Pumps waste into greenhouses which avoids emissions of 170 000 tonnes of CO2.
+ Saves greenhouse owners from burning fuels to get CO2 for the plants.
Dependant on fossil fuels.
Pressure groups (Greenpeace)
Don't always have a direct effect.
Don't have very much influence.
+ Pressure on governments.
Local congestion charge
+ Tackles poor air quality
+ Traffic, congestion and accident rates have decreased.
+ No negative effects on local businesses.
+ Income of approximately £170 million.
+ Money has been invested in public transport.
+ Technology is available for people to do it easier.
+ There is more knowledge and information available.
Not easy for normal individuals.
It is very expensive.
Only individuals such as Coldplay will really make an impact.
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme
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Companies bought into it.
It's cheaper for dirty companies to carry on as they are than to buy more credits.
Carbon credits are so cheap it is easier to use coal and buy credits than use gas.
Companies made approximately £800 million from passing credits onto their customers.
The IPCC (formed in 1988) collects evidence to show global warming is happening. To do
Collected data about the atmosphere.
Measured greenhouse gas concentrations.
Used supercomputers to predict impacts.…read more
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Broad Scenario: There is lower economic growth and, compared with A1 and B1, there are
slower but more diverse changes in technology, e.g. those designed to produces energy
locally using wind or solar power. There are attempts to achieve environmental protection
and social equality but at local, not global, levels. As in B1, there is more forest that by
2100 than in 1900.…read more