Offset expenses need to be factored into the cost of activities.
With limited resources it is better to offset fewer of your emissions but invest in offset projects that are of high quality.
Incorporating costs for CO2 emission reduction and the purchase of offsets follows the same practice as accounting for other operating expenses. Integrating budgets for offsets from the beginning streamlines the basic planning process and supports activities which encourage efficiencies first.
The new practice of offsetting carbon emissions is a step towards
slowing the growth of atmospheric CO2. As there has
been little consideration of the atmospheric implications of
our fossil fuel use in the past, tying specific offsetting costs
to these activities reinforces a causal connection and establishes
a direct fiscal responsibility.
Along with the analysis of the impacts from other emission causing activities for individuals and organisations, being aware of the carbon footprint of our activities is the beginning of managing the carbon implications of daily decisions. In the long term, voluntary carbon offsets are expected to be a transient mechanism as low carbon strategies become business as usual in the future (Molitor 2005).
Global Carbon Project: case study
Many carbon emission reductions also produce cost reductions
and have already been incorporated in GCP basic operations.
Because air travel was confirmed as the greatest single
emissions source, new opportunities for significant reductions
will have to be found in managing travel. For the Global
Carbon Project this highlights complex issues of value
for resources, geographic equity in a global community
and overcoming barriers to encourage research synthesis.
Molitor M (2005) Carbon Volunteers. Carbon Finance, p 15