CO2 offsetting, also known as climate compensation, is a way of compensating for currently emitted greenhouse gas emissions. However, this does not mean that the greenhouse gas emissions already produced in our atmosphere will disappear, but that they will be saved in the future through climate protection measures or projects.
One thing first, we are producing far too many CO2 emissions per capita in Austria - and in Europe in general - and are thus steadily driving climate change. If we do not change anything, we will not reach the urgent reduction targets confirmed by science, which will lead to catastrophic changes on our planet.
So when it comes to CO2 emissions, we should always follow this simple rule:
How does CO2 compensation work?
CO2 offsetting is intended to save unavoidable CO2 emissions in the future through certain measures and projects.
In principle, there are two ways to offset CO2:
- Future avoidance or reduction of CO2 emissions with the help of climate protection measures or projects
- Future storage of CO2 in so-called carbon sinks. The best example of a carbon sink is a forest.
Afforestation is therefore one way of compensating for CO2. However, it is important to note that afforestation only compensates for CO2 if the sequestered carbon is never released back into the atmosphere.
Climate protection projects, on the other hand, are projects that save CO2 emissions in the long term. This includes, for example, the expansion of renewable energies. But especially projects in developing countries that have a positive social effect in addition to saving CO2 are widespread possibilities of CO2 compensation, e.g. the provision of efficient stoves for households in Nigeria.
How can I offset CO2 as a private individual?
There are already many providers that offer you a transparent and simple way to offset your CO2 emissions. For example, via the Climate compensation projects at BOKU Vienna.
The first step is to calculate the amount of CO2 emitted. You can use our CO2 calculator to calculate the amount of CO2 you emitted during your trip with your motorhome:
Offset now (in cooperation with BOKU Vienna)
However, this can also be used for Air travel or its entire annual carbon footprint do so. On the respective climate compensation pages you can then see exactly for which contribution (donation) you can compensate your calculated CO2 emissions and for which projects or measures your money will be used.
But always remember: your emitted CO2 emissions have not disappeared, but will only be saved or stored in the future. However, climate change is already happening now, so we must also work now to reduce our CO2 emissions as much as possible.
Contributed image © Kevin Schmid at Unsplash