Skip to content


Carbon offsetting

I’m off to Nice on vacation for two weeks, starting tomorrow — back on May 25th. See ya then!

In the meantime, and appropriately enough given that jet fuel I’ll be consuming, here’s some interesting stuff from my mate Eoin on carbon offsetting…

‘It’s a fecking minefield to figure out. There are many conflicting standards, some of which sound impressive but are useless in reality.

Steer clear of tree planting, especially outside Europe; even a well-run forestry in Europe will take decades to make any difference.

The best quality-mark appears to be the CDM Gold Standard. The Gold Standard is a recent introduction, a response to the weak, conflicting Kyoto standards and many ad hoc government ones. Gold Standard specifically excludes tree plantatations.

The following operators are the only ones I found that are Gold Standarded and also pass the bullshit smell test (which is far more stringent ;-) thanks to all who supplied links etc. — eoin

  • My Climate — Seem good. run out of Switzerland. Professional vibe. Mainly projects in the developing world.
  • Atmosfair — like the swiss one except smaller and German. Again, seems professional, their projects page in particular reads well. Doing a German schools project as well as developing world ones.
  • Climate Friendly — Aussies. Mainly wind power, in Oz & NZ. Again seem good, have been around for a few years. Website is decent if a bit all over the place.
  • Sustainable Travel International — more an eco-holidays travel agent than offsetting per se. Useful bookmark.
  • — These guys seem good. Interesting business model. They buy high quality carbon credits, from mainly Gold Standard providers, and retire these credits. Permanent retirement, I think, though this wasn’t 100% clear on their site. So they both support the providers directly by doing business with them, and also jack up the market price by reducing supply. This supply choke isn’t something that the rest of them do, at first glance anyway. Clever idea. As the market price gets higher it will put pressure on companies to reduce their emissions, not just buy their way out of it.’

Now it’s worth noting that this is the state of play as of May 2007; it’ll definitely change pretty quickly as time goes on. Good info, though.