The prevention and reduction of CO2 emissions should have, by far, the highest priority. But compensation is also an effective contribution to climate protection. Compensation means, in this context, reducing greenhouse gases elsewhere by means of payments. Here, measures for voluntary compensation play a crucial role not only for companies but also increasingly for private individuals.
Voluntary compensation mainly takes place through compensation providers which invest in climate protection projects, renewable energies or purchase emission certificates. Examples here are wind and water power plants, biogas and biomass plants, reforestation, energy efficiency or appropriate training measures in environmental topics. Many of these measures are implemented in developing countries and thus simultaneously promote local development on the spot. Reputable providers, such as “atmosfair” or “myClimate”, can be identified with the help of the CDM Gold Standard. This was developed by environmental organisations, businesses and governments in order to assess providers according to project quality in achieving environmental and development objectives.
Other opportunities are available through organizations such as “TheCompensators”. Here, pollution rights are bought and deleted with the donated money by European Emissions Trading. This way, European industry effectively emits less CO2 by exactly this quantity.
You can, for instance, orientate yourself to your own CO2 emissions as a guide to the extent of your own voluntary compensation. The above providers and also the Federal Environmental Agency provide CO2 calculators for this purpose. The CO2 calculator of the Federal Environment Agency provides, for example, quantitative information on your own CO2 emissions. While compensation used to be mainly provided for emissions from air travel or other means of transport, household and catering are now also in focus as important sources of CO2 emissions, which could be compensated. For example, an average consumption pattern leads to 8.2 tonnes of CO2 emissions, which can be broken down as follows: