Suzuki Foundation, Pembina release guide about carbon offsets

The David Suzuki Foundation and Pembina Institute have released of a new joint publication for Canadians who are interested in using carbon offsets to reduce their climate impact.

Purchasing Carbon Offsets: A Guide for Canadian Consumers, Businesses and Organizations aims to help Canadians choose carbon offsets that will most benefit the climate. The user-friendly guide is the first publication of its kind in Canada, and ranks 20 carbon offset vendors on the quality of the offsets they sell, as well as on some of their business practices.

While many Canadians are finding ways to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions at home and at work, they are also turning to carbon offsets to deal with their remaining carbon footprint. Carbon offsets are credits for greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved by a project in another location, such as energy conservation and solar-power projects. These offsets can be purchased to compensate for emissions such as flying to a summer destination, driving a car, or heating and lighting a home or business.

The popularity and supply of carbon offsets have grown dramatically over recent years, and consumers are presented with a wide variety of carbon offset options, and online vendors to buy them from. However, not all carbon offsets are worth buying.
To help take the guesswork out of the selection process, Purchasing Carbon Offsets provides tips to help Canadians choose the highest quality offsets. For example, the best approach is to look for carbon offsets that meet a relatively strong independent offset standard, and to purchase offsets from projects like renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects, as these are the most likely to result in high quality offsets.

Because the vendor ranking is a snapshot of practices at the time the survey was carried out, the David Suzuki Foundation and Pembina Institute encourage buyers to do some research of their own before making a purchase. To assist with this, the publication provides tips to help Canadians choose the highest quality offsets.

Purchasing Carbon Offsets: A guide for consumers, businesses and organizations is available as a free download at: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Publications/offset_vendors.asp

SOURCE: Suzuki Foundation

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