Climate Change and Carbon Offsets
All human activity will be severely constrained if we continue to burn fossil fuels (5th IPCC). At a very simple level climate science demonstrates that continued exploitation of fossil fuels will put at risk our economic potential unless we rapidly transition to a low carbon economy. Our window of opportunity to make the transition to a low carbon society is rapidly narrowing.
Carbon offsets are one way to contributing to a transition away from fossil fuels and carbon emissions and towards sustainable consumption that recognises the environmental limits of our precious and unique planet.
Carbon Offsetting of an activity that has a large carbon footprint involves paying for an equivalent amount of carbon to be absorbed, prevented from being produced, or otherwise mitigated. The result of the carbon use activity and carbon offset should be a zero growth in carbon emissions or even a nett reduction.
Carbon Offsetting is not without controversy. One common criticism is that a carbon offset is a licence to pollute. However, for someone who doesn't or who can't change their behaviour or carbon emissions in other ways, buying a carbon offset is better than not buying an offset. The best way to prevent climate change is to use less and the BRCT carbon offsets aim to produce effective behaviour change to reduce overall emissions.