Carbon offsetting deals with reducing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions by individuals or corporations caused either unknowingly or with awareness. In this system, you take measures to nullify whatever adverse effects your emissions have on the environment by stopping atmospheric pollution in some other place in the world. This way the total emissions across the globe will remain within prescribed limits, which will reduce the damage to the environment.
In theory, leading or participating in ecological campaigns in your locality, planting saplings in your backyard, or doing anything that will negate the harmful effects of CO2 and other toxic gases in the atmosphere, are good ways to practice carbon offsetting. Personal action is not always practical, and thus the carbon offset system was suggested, in which people who consider themselves guilty of polluting the environment can contribute money to an organization to compensate the damage done to the environment. Your money is then donated by the organization to companies running environmental projects.
Companies and governments play a lead role in carbon offsetting and under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, the developing countries are generally paid by the more advanced countries for keeping the total rate of emissions within prescribed limits.
Sceptics believe that carbon offset fails to rectify the problem of the ecological harm that an an organization is responsible for. In both carbon trading and carbon offsetting, you just make a monetary compensation for your harm done to the environment without actually preventing it.
However, the supporters of theses systems argue that monetary incentives in carbon trading are adequate to motivate firms to adopt greener methods of carrying on business. Likewise, in case of ordinary people, a system like carbon offset permits them to promote their eco friendly image and spread awareness about this issue. People have been inspired to opt for carbon offset as several public figures have endorsed and embraced it. The success of the system is reflected in its fast growth over the last few years and most people now acknowledge the immense potential that it holds.
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