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Offset projects fall into two general categories - avoided emissions and sequestration

The greatest increase in purchases in the voluntary markets is from corporations.

Offset projects fall into two general categories—avoided emissions and sequestration. The first category involves finding ways to accomplish tasks by using less fossil fuel, making fossil fuel less carbon intensive and switching to renewable fuels. The second category, sequestration offsets, involves capturing an equivalent amount of CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it for a specified period.

The voluntary offset market has developed alongside the compliance carbon market, where Europe and Japan have been the largest buyers and China the largest seller (Karan Capoor, Philippe Ambrosi, 2006). Estimates in 2006 placed the regulated markets at $US21.5 billion and voluntary markets at about $US100 million for the first three quarters of 2006 (Hamilton et al., 2006). The greatest increase in purchases in the voluntary markets is from corporations with substantial footprints that are looking to minimize their risks ahead of possible regulation.

Carbon offset projects

Solar Power - Generate energy from the sun's rays.
Wind Power - Use winds in the atmosphere to create electricity.
Hydroelectric Power - Harness water flows to generate electricity.
Fuel Efficiency - Burn a particular fuel more efficiently.
Fuel Substitution - Switch to a fuel which emits less carbon.
Cogeneration - Create electricity and heat from the same source.
Efficient Lighting - Replace traditional light bulbs with compt. fluorescent lamps. Material Substitution - Change the input material for an industrial process. Environmental Buildings - Increase building energy and materials efficiency.
Public Transportation - Subsidize or encourage the use of public transport.
Methane from Industry - Collect and burn methane from industrial waste.
Burning Agricultural Residue - Burn farming residue to generate electricity.
Reforestation - Plant trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Find carbon offset projects around the world with an assessment of their quality at Carbon Catalog: http://www.carboncatalog.org

Karan Capoor. Philippe Ambrosi (2006) State and Trends of the Carbon Market, 2006. IETA
Hamilton K, Stewart E, Sissel Waage (2006) Offsetting Emissions: A Business Brief on the
Voluntary Carbon Market
Ecosystem Marketplace