Carbon Trading for Business
Carbon trading occurs if a central agency, (such as the government) places a cap upon business carbon emissions. Companies are given an allowance or credits as to their carbon emissions which must not exceed the cap. If a company does exceed their carbon emission allowance they may be able to buy credits from companies that have remaining credits.
Such schemes however have been criticised for a number of reasons.
Carbon trading has been subject to manipulation as businesses do not necessarily sell their carbon offsets to the highest bidder and the European Union Emission Trading Scheme has come under attack for ‘giving’ away carbon credits to polluting companies.1
Environmental groups such as the Carbon Trade Watch have argued that carbon trading places disproportionate emphasis on individual lifestyles and carbon footprints, distracting attention from the wider, systemic changes and collective political action that needs to be taken to tackle climate change.2
Carbon Trading for Individuals
Carbon trading or offsets have proved popular with individuals as organizations calculate the carbon emissions that an individual produces annually and offsets that emission for the individual. For example Climate Positive (www.climatepositive.org) purchase verified emission reduction offsets and replant deforested landscapes with indigenous seedlings to absorb more CO2 than its members produce, therefore becoming ‘carbon positive’. Through calculating a household or individuals carbon dioxide emissions, the organization will determine the monetary amount on an annual basis.
To measure your current climate footprint visit www.climatepositive.org/Measure.asp