Carbon Offsetting Options in Australia and Overseas

Posted by Benjamin Maguire on 4 July 2017 | Comments

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For many people, the terms carbon neutrality, carbon offset schemes and greenhouse gases either mean the same thing or are too similar to differentiate. 

Here at Ecotourism Australia, we thought it would be useful for our followers to truly understand the general idea around measuring your own carbon footprint and the different offsetting options available in Australia and around the world.

CO Projects

An activity, process or organisation is considered to be carbon neutral when its net greenhouse gas emissions are equal to zero. To become carbon neutral, organisations must calculate their emissions, reduce these emissions as much as possible, and then purchase and cancel carbon offsets or carbon credits equivalent to the remaining emissions. This process results in emissions being offset and leads to net zero emissions or being carbon neutral. To calculate a company or individual’s emissions, there exists a number of online calculators. The main ones that we recommend to our operators are the GBRMPA Emissions Calculator, the Carbon Neutral Calculator and the Carbon Footprint Calculator.

CO Chart

A carbon offset flow chart.

From both an individual and a company’s point of view, carbon offset schemes are a way to invest in environmental projects either at home or around the world in order balance out their own carbon footprints. Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation or community.

The projects are usually based in developing countries and are most commonly designed to reduce future emissions. This might involve rolling out clean energy technologies such as investments into renewable energy projects, creating efficient cooking stoves all the way through to capturing methane gas at landfill sites to create energy. Other schemes work by soaking up CO2 directly from the air with the plantation of trees.

Ecuador forest 01 570x420
Carbon offsets help reduce the global greenhouse gas total by funding projects like reforestation in Ecuador

Reaching carbon neutrality through the use of carbon offset schemes provides a wide range of benefits. Many projects support the maintenance of habitats for native animals and plant species, avoid the clearing of vegetation and work towards the re-establishment of vegetation on previously cleared areas hence bringing environmental benefits. Projects such as the TreeProject, the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor as well as the Tasmanian Land Conservancy are focused on the conservation and the preservation of natural habitats across Australia.

These environmental projects are also socially and economically beneficial since the income generated from the sale of offset credits is then delivered back to the communities in which the project is located essentially allowing for the employment of locals and the increase of social support towards the community.

Renewable Energy
Carbon offsets help support renewable energy sources like wind power

Many would argue, that the idea of carbon offsetting projects is simply a way for individuals to feel less guilty about their environmental impact and continue operating as they used to without making changes to their polluting habits. However, these projects can be a part of cutting our footprint as well as an incentive to be greener and more responsible.

For further information, please see the following links: 

Climate Council- for general Climate Change information-

Emissions Calculators:

Great Barrier Reef Marine Protected Authority: Suitable for marine and land operators, not restrictive to the Great Barrier Reef-

Carbon Neutral

Carbon Footprint


Offsetting for Businesses:

Carbon Neutral


Climate Friendly

Tree Project:

Bush Heritage:


Offsetting for Individuals:

Carbon Neutral


Tasmanian Land Conservancy

Greening Australia


Please note: some Carbon Offsetting Projects are available for both Individuals and Businesses.

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