A carbon offset is a financial instrument that represents a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. One carbon offset represents the reduction of one metric ton (2,205 lbs) of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gas emissions can come from a wide variety of sources, including power plants, automobiles, agriculture, and landfills.
A carbon offset is created when a project reduces or eliminates greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve what is known as “net-zero” status. In other words, the project produces no more greenhouse gas emissions than it would have if the offset had not been created.
The most common type of carbon offset projects are those that involve renewable energy, such as solar and wind power. Other common types of projects include forestry projects (such as planting trees) and agricultural projects (such as changing farming practices to reduce methane emissions).
Offers offsets from projects that include wind power, solar power, and methane capture.