Net zero, according to the Institute for Government means “achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.” … “A gross-zero target would mean reducing all emissions to zero. This is not realistic, so instead the net-zero target recognises that there will be some emissions but that these need to be fully offset.” Where existing emissions cannot be reduced offsetting is “predominantly through natural carbon sinks such as oceans and forests.” and they can also be offset by supporting clean projects and clean purchases.
Some ways individuals can offset emissions from their lifestyles include:
- Online searches. Try Ecosia for online searches. “We use the profit we make from your searches to plant trees where they are needed most.”
- Personal holidays. The BBC reported that less than half of the world’s major airlines were giving passengers the opportunity to offset the carbon dioxide produced from their flights. Climatecare offers ways to a portfolio of projects that offset money can be directed to. And Fly Green books flights and offsets the emissions to cook stoves in Chad.
- Business Travel. Climatecare also provides easy ways for businesses to offset their travel, including carbon calculators that can be embedded in web sites. And Haringey plans to set up an offset scheme. (ref C3) to “Promote the Council’s policy of flights only being allowed for key services (such as coroners, social workers etc)
- Choice of electricity tariff. Choosing a supplier who invests in new renewables might cost more but could compensate for a high carbon lifestyle.
- Choice of vehicle. Choosing an electric vehicle might cost more but will contribute to a clean electricity grid.
NOTE: The aviation industry has CORSIA, a voluntary international offset scheme for the aviation industry to offset CO2 emissions. Aviation fuel is not subject to tax, or to the UK Emissions Trading Scheme.