When discussing carbon footprints, climate impact and greenhouse gas emissions, carbon offsets and offsetting is a highly debated topic. The purchasing of a carbon offset is essentially an investment into a climate mitigation project that is reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
There are two main types of offsetting projects; carbon reduction and carbon avoidance. Carbon reduction projects are sequestration projects, that are actively ‘sucking up’ carbon and reducing the quantity in the atmosphere. The Mai Ndombe Reforestation Project listed on our carbon offsetting page is an example of carbon reduction. The purchase of one carbon offset from this project is the equivalent to one tonne of carbon being sequestered.
Carbon avoidance projects are renewable energy generation projects that have zero, or little carbon emissions. The creation of each renewable energy unit is then equated to one tonne of emissions avoidance. This is then referred to as a carbon offset credit, which can be purchased to offset one tonne of carbon.
Both types of carbon credit can be used by individuals or businesses to offset their emissions and claim carbon neutrality. Offsetting however, should be used a last resort, and reducing your carbon emissions should be the main focus. Offsetting is a quick fix and a cheap method of climate action, but it is not a long-term solution to climate change.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, created by the United Nations in 2015 are a group of global objectives that once achieved, should result in peace and prosperity for both the planet and the people living on it, now and in the future. All 193 countries in the UN have signed up to work towards and achieve them by 2030. The goals emphasize the relationships between the environment, economy and society, promoting how they are intertwined and directly impact each other.
The SDGs were released 15 years after the Millennium Development Goals, which were in place from 2000-2015. The new focus on sustainability and the environment compared to the lack of attention climate change was given 15 years ago, demonstrates the importance of protecting the planet.
The 17 goals are made up of 169 individual targets, many of them contributing to more than one SDG:
GOAL 1: No Poverty – End poverty and all its forms everywhere.
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
GOAL 4: Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
GOAL 5: Gender Equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy – Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality – Reduce inequality within and among countries.
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production – Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
GOAL 13: Climate Action – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
GOAL 14: Life Below Water – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
GOAL 15: Life on Land – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
All the SDGs are cohesive and related to each other, so often when one is achieved, many of the others are impacted. For example, SDG4, improving the quality of education would lead to SDG8, economic growth. More information on sustainable development goals can be found here.
5D Net Zero offers a range of carbon offsetting projects that achieve at least 3 SDGs in their local area. Choosing to offset your emissions through one of our projects is contributing towards a better future for our planet. For more information about our project portfolio of carbon offset credits, please visit our Carbon Offset Credit Store or contact us on [email protected].