The Offset Guide is for companies and organizations seeking to understand carbon offsets and how to use carbon offsets in voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategies. It is also an educational resource for technical experts in academia and government. Further, this guide explains what role purchases of other environmental commodities, like renewable energy certificates (RECs) and emission allowances, can serve in claiming GHG emission reductions.

What's new?

Achieving Carbon NeutralityAir Travel and ClimateOther Instruments for Claiming Emission Reductions

Why use carbon offsets?

The urgency is clear: incremental steps to address GHG emissions will not be enough. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world has until 2030 to cut human-caused carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in half (and cut other GHG emissions considerably) to maintain a 50% chance of avoiding the worst effects of climate change.

By 2050, CO2 emissions will need to reach “net zero” – where emissions are in balance with removals – to sustain this chance. Such reductions will require worldwide action by national and local governments, along with businesses and civil society.

Companies and organizations will need to use every tool at their disposal to achieve emission reduction goals. “Carbon offsets” are one such tool that – if used responsibly – can help accelerate action to avert dangerous climate change.