Carbon Retirement

Carbon offsets can be considered as the best idea in the world – a financial instrument created to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are obtained by corporations or governments to comply with caps on the amount of carbon dioxide they can emit into the atmosphere. For example, the purchase of one carbon offset is corresponding to the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide. Generally, they are intended to fund projects that seek to reduce quantities of greenhouse gas emissions.
However,  large corporations are continuing to pollute the atmosphere and carbon offsetting  does not motivate them to invest in new technologies. Rather than try to run their companies at peak carbon efficiency, they can simply pay a nominal tax on the amount they go over. Moreover, some projects funded by carbon offsets are of doubtful origin, and there is no certainty they will indeed reduce CO2 emissions in levels equivalent to what is being produced.

In order to persuade companies not to use carbon offsetting as a crutch, the answer might be to turn to carbon retirement. What does it mean? Well, carbon retirement vendors purchase carbon offsets from the government before they can be delivered to big polluters. After that the vendors call off the credits, efficiently retiring them from the system eternally. The total number of carbon offsets is determined by the number of projects that need subsidizing, so having the people consume and ‘retire’ them can charge large companies to either lower emissions or pay high amends. This can encourage the industry to be more responsible.

To sum up, the benefits of carbon retirement are that there are no questions as to whether the reduction happened.  The carbon offset can no longer be used as an excuse to emit greenhouse gases, if it is removed from the system. Secondly, carbon retirement is fully supported by the UK government, and accredits the offsets they sell. Furthermore, by leveling the playing field, developed countries  must lower their emissions without the use of allowances. Finally, by forcing companies to spend their money on innovation, renewable energy companies receive a boost.

To conclude, carbon retirement is a particular approach to be sure that the whole of your funding is being used for reducing greenhouse gases. This process lead to long-term behavioral changes not only in technological countries but in the developing world, where industrial revolutions depend largely on fossil fuels and carbon heavy machinery. With carbon retirement you can take an allowance away from the companies that are responsible for the global warming issue.


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