How do the carbon offset certificates work?

All of the projects we support to compensate carbon footprints are certified by either Gold Standard or Verra. Proof of the amount of carbon that is offset (reduced and/or compensated) is provided through so called carbon certificates. Carbon certificates represent the amount of carbon that is offset through a specific project. The certificates mention the amount of carbon offset (in metric tonnes). The amount of carbon that is offset by a project is calculated. Then, an amount of “credits” (similar to the amount of metric tonnes of CO2 offset) is issued for the relevant project.
 
For example, in case of a renewable energy project, the amount calculated is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that the climate protection project reduces or avoids. If the renewable energy project avoids the emission of 100.000 metric tonnes of CO2, 100.000 credits are issued for this project. Once issued, these certificates can be traded on carbon markets. Once certificates are bought, these can be retired. A retired credit can never be traded again. Retiring a credit means taking it off the market. Therefore, the party that retires a certificate can claim the amount of CO2 (in metric tonnes) compensated through these certificates.
 
Before we invest in a certain project by buying and retiring carbon credits, we discuss the relevant project with one of our Climate Science Advisors, which are experts with a background in climate and environmental science.

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