Ever since I started working on carbon emissions, footprint calculators and climate apps, the aspect of offsetting has been omnipresent. What is intended is the compensation of carbon emissions by financing climate protection projects.
During my market research I have discovered numerous service providers of different sizes and with different focuses who invest in a wide range of projects. Many of them set a focus by specializing in carbon emissions from mobility and travel.
If I type carbon compensation into Google, the first thing that comes up is Atmosfair – climate-conscious travel. This is where I could offset my air travel or a desired amount of carbon and my invested money would benefit projects in the fields of energy efficiency, wind power, hydroelectric power, solar energy or environmental education, among others.
According to my search, the range of service providers in this field give a lot more. Ellie, for example, even takes the whole a little thing far – and a little bit to the extreme – so that the app allows me to compensate for individual food components. For example 300 grams of beef. According to Ellie, this causes 8.1 kg carbon equivalent, for which I would have to pay 42 cents.
Does offsetting carbon emissions buy a clear conscience?
In my testing discussions with potential Codyo users, the subject of compensation also comes up again and again. Here I come across quite a range of statements – similar to the service providers‘ offer. These range from “you’re just buying a clear conscience” to “that’s nothing more than modern indulgence trading” to “I can’t imagine offsetting carbon emissions because I don’t trust the providers”.
However, I also hear statements such as, “I have already offset a flight once” and “I offset my entire carbon footprint every year”. From my point of view everything seems to be represented. So the question comes up to me, if and in which form should the topic be considered within Codyo!?
I have received a concise statement on this subject from my colleague Jan, which I think is a very reasonable attitude towards the possible offsetting of carbon emissions: “Saving carbon is always better than offsetting. But offsetting is better than doing nothing”.
What do you think about carbon offsetting? What is important to you in this context? Should carbon offsetting be a part of the Codyo climate app?