Carbon Action Project Launch Booklet - Page 14 environmental-footprint-in-the-garden/ and-lower-your-bills-27090 Carbon Offsets Introduction Many people are in despair about the Federal Government’s refusal to act with urgency about climate change. But instead of despair, we can see this as an opportunity. If the Federal Government won’t act, the re- sponsibility falls to us. And there is much that we can do whether we are individuals or families, community organisations, or employees and shareholders of companies and citizens of State and Territory govern- ments. The key is getting rid of carbon pollution and moving to net carbon neu- trality as soon as possible. In the long term, this means electrifying eve- rything and generating that electricity using renewable energy: replace our petrol/diesel cars with electric cars, replace our gas heating with electrical heating, etc. And this will involve roughly tripling the size of our electricity industry. Currently, for Australia as a whole, only 21% of elec- tricity comes from renewable energy, but this proportion is moving up every year. But there is something that we can do right now that supports that goal AND reduces carbon pollution. This is where carbon offsets come in. What are carbon offsets? According to Wikipedia: ‘A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or oth- er greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. [1][2][3] Offsets are measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide- equivalent (CO 2 e). One tonne of carbon offset represents the reduction of one tonne of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases’. In practical terms greenhouse gases produced are balanced either by actions that draw down carbon out of the atmosphere (e.g. planting of trees) or by investments in renewable energy generation. For example Qantas’ Fly Carbon Neutral Program ( qantas-group/acting-responsibly/our-planet/carbon-offsetting.html) sup- Carbon Action Project 11 1 March 2020