My husband and I usually choose to use the Climate Neutral Now Online Platform in order to offset carbon emissions caused by work- and leisure related travel by plane. We started using this platform about two years ago as we had booked a trip abroad which we did not want to cancel. We also know that travel by plane causes a lot of emissions and we feel guilty about this. My husband also frequently has to travel by plane with work, which was yet another reason why we compensate our emissions. We usually also buy extra carbon offsets to compensate carbon emissions for people who choose to not buy carbon offsets (this is their choice).
We are worried about climate change, and even though we do some things "correctly" i.e. we are vegetarians who eat mostly vegan food, we find it impossible to do all things "correctly", especially in a consumerist society. The Climate Neutral Now Online Platform is a good and affordable way for us to offset our carbon emissions. We like that we can choose different projects with various social and environmental benefits.
I have worked on clean energy and climate response policy and programs for over 3 decades. The science is compelling, the economics of change are becoming increasingly attractive, and the lived experience is becoming terrifying. I do my best to cut emissions through my work, engagement with community and my personal actions. However, much of my climate impact is due to government inaction and failure to adjust its emission targets to recognise the additionality of most community and business action, and emissions from infrastructure and supply chains that I can’t control. So credible carbon offsets provide an important complement to my own actions.
I also buy offsets to give as birthday and Christmas presents to friends and families. The images and stories, and back-up documentation, provided on the ClimateNeutalNow website, combined with secure and easy payment, are useful. Even for those who are sceptical about the quality of carbon offsets, or who see them as merely ‘guilt reduction’, the positive social and local economic benefits of projects I select make them meaningful forms of donation to worthy action.
At a pragmatic level, if people like me don’t buy up and cancel the low cost certified compliant offsets, we will leave them available for large emitters to buy instead of taking action to cut their own emissions!
You are welcome to publish this statement.
Best wishes for your continued efforts,
Alan Pears AM
Senior Industry Fellow, RMIT University