solar plant Wind generators in the arctic tundra. Norway, the island of Smola. Aerial view

What is causing the Climate Crisis?

The “Climate Crisis” is being caused by modern humanity’s destruction of nature and the release of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Carbon emissions are also called greenhouse gases (GHGs) because they accumulate in the Earth’s atmosphere and trap the sun’s solar radiation, warming the planet. This effect is similar to how a glass greenhouse keeps the interior temperature warmer than the outside. Our activities are creating imbalance and adding more energy to our climate system. This additional energy manifests itself in many ways, e.g., more heatwaves, more extreme storms, a shifting of seasonal weather patterns, ocean warming, glacier melting, and sea-level rise. What started as human-induced climate change has now became known as the climate crisis because the impacts which were predicted decades ago are now happening with frightening regularity.

Can we stop the Climate Crisis?

The short answer is YES! To do so, we need to start lowering the amount of carbon emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere over the next decade. This will require a shift to a low carbon economy and a change in consumer behavior. While we naturally look to governments to lead the way, the truth is that much of our society is built to serve our consumer needs. If we demand change with the power of our spending, then markets and companies will respond. With only 10-15 years to make a change, we can’t wait for only the government to act, we need to lead the way in our daily lives. That is the premise behind 1PLANET: Giving people the means to manage and reduce their carbon footprint while supporting climate-friendly products and services.

How can I make a difference?

Your choices and actions make a difference! Climate change is difficult to comprehend. But, when you focus on steps you can take, and you support projects on the ground that make a difference, suddenly the problem doesn’t seem so complicated and impossible to solve. The truth is that we have the technology to reduce and remove carbon emissions; but we need to build the right economy and incentives for scaling them up. Putting a price on carbon emissions by choosing climate friendly products and services that use 1PLANET can provide those incentives.

At Climate Futures, we want to give everyone the tools to live a climate-friendly lifestyle, no matter your circumstances or starting point in the process. The key is the willingness to make a difference to help our world. The first step is to understand what your carbon footprint is, how to reduce it, and how to balance it using our climate projects.

About Carbon Credits and Carbon Offsetting

Carbon credits are environmental commodities created by specialized climate projects that reduce carbon emissions. These climate projects are independently approved and certified by several organizations before they can issue carbon credits. When a project’s carbon credits are purchased it receives much needed finance to support its environmentally positive activities. More officially, such carbon credits are called by long names depending on the project standard such as a Certified Emission Reduction (CER), Verified Emission Reduction (VER), Verified Carbon Unit (VCU), etc. Carbon credits are normally equal to 1 metric ton of CO2 (1000kg or 2200lbs).

Carbon offsetting is the practice of using a carbon credit to reduce or balance one’s carbon footprint. Offset was originally a verb as in, “I will offset my carbon footprint to reduce my impact.” Later, as the practice of carbon offsetting became more mainstream with businesses and people, the term “carbon offset” was coined to refer to carbon credits (or emission reductions) generated by climate projects. Using a carbon offset/credit is a way to compensate for your carbon emissions by funding an equivalent carbon reduction at a climate project. It both helps to combat global climate change as well as to care for local communities around the world.

Carbon credits can come from many types of projects and activities that reduce and remove carbon emissions. At Climate Futures we focus on the following categories of projects which also provide additional local social and environmental benefits for our 1PLANET Marketplace:

  • Clean Energy: Renewable energy production from solar, windfarms, and small-scale hydro
  • Small-scale Energy Efficiency: Clean cookstove and efficient lighting programs
  • Carbon Removal: Forest restoration/conservation, biofuel production, improved agriculture practices
  • Blue Carbon: Coastal mangrove, seagrass, and wetlands restoration/conservation

We Only Use Independent Standards and Verified Results

At Climate Futures, we only work with climate projects that are certified by the highest independent standards and established organizations. We believe it is important that our projects use open-source and independently peer-reviewed methodologies for carbon accounting and verification. Our founders originally worked as climate project auditors and with the development of carbon accounting and verification standards. Therefore, we take this issue extremely seriously and follow only established standards for our climate projects and carbon credits. By using these standards the project performance is independently audited on a regular basis by accredited 3rd-party organizations to ensure the environmental integrity of the activities.