Oxford Type 1
Reduction without storage
This category covers a wide range of projects that aim to reduce and avoid emissions versus business as usual. Examples include: renewable energy, destruction of refrigerants that would otherwise be vented to the atmosphere, and capture of methane emitted from landfills.
Reducing potent greenhouse gas emissions where they otherwise would occur is one of the most immediate and scalable things we can do today. Avoided emissions from this category are typically irreversible, and, in many cases, it is straightforward to calculate exactly how many tons of CO2e were avoided by project activity.
Carbon offsets are only additional if the emission reduction took place because of the financing the offset provided. If projects are already profitable absent offset financing or are already required by regulation, they cannot be additional. In this category, it is important to avoid projects–including many renewable energy projects–that are no longer additional for these reasons.
- Potential overestimation
Some of these projects, like providing cleaner cookstoves to families in rural areas, may overestimate the reduction caused by the offsets because they overestimate usage of the stoves or the amount of biomass that would have turned into emissions absent the program.