The concept of carbon offsetting is not a new concept, but while the technology has been in place for some time, there remains a lack of maturity around offset projects, the credits they generate, and the ability to manage both in current trade and risk management system (TRM) offerings. In light of the intractable pivot towards net zero, we explore the rationales behind carbon offsets, some of the current challenges, and potential paths forward.
The movement toward a greener future has led to clean energy projects breaking ground worldwide. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net Zero 2050 outline estimates that by 2030 the total annual energy investment will rise to five trillion dollars – more than double recent annual averages – due in part to large-scale clean energy initiatives. While recent headlines have outlined risks with the present speed and viability of involuntary transition, there is little doubt that clean energy investment will continue at a blistering pace.
At a consumer level, society has been transitioning to cleaner end use products like zero emission electric vehicles and more efficient homes with solar capabilities. And at the corporate level, businesses are taking steps to improve efficiency from logistics to office lighting. Even with these technological advancements, green investment increases, and consumer and corporate behavior shifting towards carbon emission reductions, the reality is that we will continue to produce carbon emissions for the foreseeable future.
The question is, how can a society that continues to produce an indisputable carbon footprint claim to have achieved carbon neutrality? Carbon offsets are one of the instruments that organizations can use to reach their carbon neutrality goals. In this white paper, we will explore carbon offsets and the challenges of managing offsets in current trade and risk management systems.
This article was originally published in AltEnergyMag.com.