A carbon credit represents either the permanent removal of a tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere, or the avoidance of one tonne of CO2 being emitted
So, what is a carbon credit? At it’s most basic:
A carbon credit represents either the permanent removal of a tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere, or the avoidance of one tonne of CO2 being emitted.
Our infographic below explains the difference between “removal” and “avoidance” carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market.
Removal carbon credits are critical for building the long-term carbon dioxide removal scale we need to reach net zero targets.
Avoidance carbon credits are critical for reducing current net emissions now but not do affect current levels of CO2.
The world needs to reduce emissions fast to keep within 1.5oC. The science tells us we need to cut global emissions by 55% to be on a pathway to net zero by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. Emissions reductions in companies’ own supply chains are unlikely to be enough. Using voluntary carbon credits as part of a company’s decarbonisation strategy in a strategic, credible way is an essential tool if we are to meet the Paris targets.
Voluntary carbon credits are a critical way to unlock huge quantities of private capital for emissions reductions which are difficult to make economically viable through other means.
Carbon credits can only be legitimised if they are done well. In short this means matching high integrity demand with high quality supply. For more on how to use high-quality carbon credits as part of a credible decarbonisation strategy on the pathway to net zero click here.
For more on what a “good” carbon credit read here.
The difference between removal and reduction/avoidance carbon credits