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Reduce vs offset:
Why do we need carbon credits?

Carbon Markets 101


Level: Beginner

3 minute read

What's in the guidebook

Let's talk about the elephant in the room when it comes to voluntary carbon markets. We've all heard the pervasive narrative that carbon credits are just a "ticket to pollute", and that they are somehow a negative for climate action. 

If you are concerned about the validity of using carbon credits to offset emissions, this guidebook lays out all the issues step-by-step with helpful infographics. 


Companies need to reduce emissions as rapidly as possible through improved efficiency, low carbon energy supply and new low carbon technologies. We can all agree that this is a critical priority for the net-zero transition. 

But emission reduction alone will not get us to a net-zero economy. Emission reduction programs take time to ramp up, there will always be unavoidable emissions, we might decarbonise slower than planned, and we have a historic backlog of emissions to compensate for. 

This is where carbon credits, used as offsets or environmental contributions, can come in. They are the most practical tool we have to fill the emission reduction gap! If we adopt some common sense guidelines to make sure they are used appropriately. 

Ultimately this guidebook invites readers to rise above the "reduce vs. offset" debate. Recognising that the world needs both of these actions, as quickly as possible. We need to learn how to do both better! 

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  • Reduce vs offset: Why we need carbon credits

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