Talk:Carbon credit

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Seems to have been written by someone that is making a lot of money from the industry. This article doesn't need editing, it needs deleting and for people to write a new one.-- unsigned

Yours is typical of the immediate cries of outrage heard when anyone disagrees with you. "They're taking money!" In your universe there is no sincere opposition. This is really bad thinking on your part. Also, learn to sign your posts.Alcuin of York (talk) 05:44, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

What Is A Carbon Credit?[edit]

The article leaves that one question unanswered. What does it consist of, how many tonnes of CO2 per credit? —Preceding unsigned comment added by MrSativa (talkcontribs) 03:14, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Answer: Carbon Credit is a unit just like Litre or Kilogram and 1 Carbon Credit is equivalent to 1 metrics tonne of Carbon (or other GHG) emmissions.

Makes no sense[edit]

From the article it seems that I can burn tires to heat my home as long as I pay some company to plant trees...? 18:10, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

And how the heck does one measure his/her carbon output? Who enforces carbon usage within licensed terms? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:32, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

carbon credits are different than carbon offsets. A credit is generally a permit to emit x pounds. An offset is purchased or issued to emit more than the allowed under the current rule. Offsets are emission reductions from other individuals sold on the open market —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Expanding the article[edit]

hi ppl, the article on carbon credits is not very clear or explainative.I wud b really grateful to anyone who can please explain it to.what exactly are carbon credits,their origin,usage and relevance today. thanks a lot!! sal

Agreed. If I knew any of this stuff I would add it:
  • History of the carbon credits system
  • Brief explanation of how buying carbon credits actually reduces emissions
  • Countries/entities involved
The Kyoto Protocol has a good background position on the current status of many countries in relation to addressing greenhouse related issues. --Evolve2k 12:11, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I hope someone knowledgable can help out... --Doradus 18:35, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
How about what companies would be selling carbon credits. How about the profits that these companies make. I like the similarities drawn between indulgences and carbon credits. We must atone for our enviormental sins. Gavinthesavage 17:59, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I think a comparison of credits to indulgences isn't really appropriate for this Wikipedia article. The price of a single carbon credit would be an interesting addition. 13:39, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

How buying carbon credits actually reduces emissions[edit]

Carbon credits creates a market for reducing greenhouse emissions (carbon) by giving a monetary value to the cost of polluting the air. This means that carbon becomes a cost of business and is seen like other inputs such water rates (water is a free natural resource, but governments have a system of charging for it as it is seen as valuable).

Basically it works something like this, a factory produces 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse emissions in a year. Following international pressure, a government enacts laws that restrict or provide a quota on the maximum emissions a business can have. So the factory is given a quota of say 80,000 tonnes. The factory either reduces its emissions to 80,000 tonnes or otherwise is required to purchase 'carbon credits' to offset the extra tonnes it is polluting over and above its quota. It means factories which want to pollute, in the short term, pay a real 'financial cost' for making greenhouse emissions.

The business would buy the 'carbon credits' on an open market from organizations which have been approved as being able to sell legitimate carbon credits, one seller might be a company which will plant X no of trees for every 'carbon credit' you buy off them. So for this factory it might pollute a tonne, but is essentially now paying another group to go out and plant trees which will say draw a tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Over time it is envisaged, that as emission levels are predicted to keep rising, that the number of companies wanting/needing to buy more credits will increase hence pushing the market price up, and hence encouraging more groups to undertake environmentally friendly activities which create for them carbon credits to sell. Another model is that companies which use below their quota can sell their excess as 'carbon credits' also, the possibilities are endless hence making it a open market.

Basically once the system was in place and it is suggested that initially carbon credits should be really cheap so that business find it easy to transition in, then over time the quota of emissions a government allows (based on say international agreements) will gradually be reduced, which increases demand and keeps pushing up the value of the credits. The hopeful end game is that somewhere along the way the company will turn around and go, hey if I just reduce my emissions I don't need to buy so many credits, hence achieving what was desired all along.

The devil is in the detail as to who can sell carbon credits and for doing what? As well as how do you buy them, what if you don't buy as many as you should, where can you trade them etc. These details are yet to be resolved on a global level, currently its a few countries taking a lead as things get started.

Yes Its long, but the simplest way I could explain it! Hope that helps. --Evolve2k 11:47, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks! Would you be willing to integrate that into the article? --Alynna 00:39, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the encouragement, I am no expert in this area, but I will do my best to add the above to the main article, and let the more knowledgeable in this area, slice & dice what Ive written in the classic wiki way. So for those that come to this 'discussion' questioning all that I have added to the main article, please take this as recognition that I am no environmental atmospheric scientist or the like ;) --Evolve2k 09:37, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Ive now added the additional section as well as summarized some details into the article introduction, although hopefully adding to overall clarity regarding what credits mean, I haven't made the page shorter, so yes I have left it as still a candidate for tidy up. Also my example includes 100,000 tonnes for a factory, in reality I have no idea what is a reasonable example tonnage, so please replace if you have insight in this area. --Evolve2k 10:05, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. That's the beauty of the wiki - the people who add content don't have to be the same people who wiki-format it. --Alynna 15:54, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
I think this section only goes half the way with regards to how credits reduce emissions. For example what happens if a tree dies? How is the actual reduced emissions measured? Does anyone have any info regarding this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:27, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
For example what happens if a tree dies? -> There are several ways to cope with that problem:
Under the Kyoto Protocol, Trees can only gain "temporary" credits (so called tCERs). Those credits have to be replaced by a regular credit once the tree dies. And the trees are verified on a regular basis. It does not make too much sense to think of individual trees but rather of acres of land under forest cover -> this can be verified and does not simply "die" unless there is a major catastrophy.
Under the Volunary Carbon Standard forestry projects have to put a share of their credits into a global buffer account. This account acts as an insurance in case individual projects fail & credits from dead trees are replaced from this account.
How is the actual reduced emissions measured? -> this depends very much on the project type. In general, there is a proposed business as usual scenario (e.g. electricity from the national grid) compared to the project scenario (e.g. wind power). (TimS TimS (talk) 15:07, 11 October 2010 (UTC))


Pollute: to contaminate (an environment) especially with man-made waste.

Perhaps the term "pollute" should not be used in this article. Although speechmakers like to use this term, it does not apply to carbon dioxide in the sense of stoichiometric combustion of hydrocarbons. The byproduct carbon dioxide is part of the carbon cycle and is chemically indistinguishable from the carbon dioxide we exhale. RastaKins 02:28, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Not true. There are many pollutants which also occur naturally, such as mercury, ozone, methane, oil seeps, feces, etc. The natural occurrence of a substance hardly disqualifies it from being an anthropogenic pollutant when humans introduce it to the environment in harmful quantities. For example, migrating herds deposit feces all over the savanna, but concentrating many animals into a feedlot creates a localized fecal pollution problem that is much worse. With regard to carbon dioxide, researchers can distinguish fossil carbon from carbon that has recently been part of the carbon cycle by isotope ratios. See David J.C. MacKay's summary of the problem with carbon dioxide. The natural carbon cycle consists of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide that were in balance with each other for all of human civilization's existence until recently when humans began introducing a new source of carbon dioxide, by extracting and burning the stored carbon in fossil fuels. The result has been the steady increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration since the start of the Industrial revolution, which means the natural sinks for carbon dioxide are not keeping pace with the new source of emissions. Also see the USEPA's Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act which lays out the case for anthropogenic carbon dioxide as a pollutant. --Teratornis (talk) 00:17, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

General improvements[edit]

This article should be merged with the article Carbon emissions trading, which should be reconciled with the Emissions Trading section in the Kyoto Protocol article.

If this article is retained, its title should be made plural ("Carbon credits")

There is a lot of tangential information in this article that should either be cut or replaced with links (e.g., sources of emissions, decription of Kyoto) as well as a lot of redundant material (e.g., decription of Kyoto). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:46, 4 March 2007 (UTC).

External links[edit]

The external links need serious pruning. Remove the commercial links. Remove the non-notable blogs. And for $deity's sake remove the conspiracy theory links about how global warming is a hoax. That ~might~ be relevant at global warming. It is not relevant here. I'll do it if someone doesn't get to it first. --Alynna 15:24, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

You could add "the carbon catalog" instead, it is an independent list of carbon credit companies. (TimS TimS (talk) 15:09, 11 October 2010 (UTC))

Need a criticisms section[edit]

Many see carbon credits as fraud. There exists a lot of legitimate criticism over carbon credits and for this article to have any real neutrality, criticisms should be cited.

Added NPOV dispute tag to top of article Mbarbier 02:59, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, I came here to see if there are any criticisms and there was no such section. Can someone more knowledgeable start such a thing? - 05:01, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I've done some re-organising & rework of the article to (hopefully) help it flow a bit & and added a criticism section. As there are already criticisms in the articles for the Clean Development Mechanism‎ and Carbon offset I just highlighted then and pointed the reader there. But I hope I picked up the major issues within the subsection as regards the main issues with credits and their issuance. If this reads sensibly (& is without typos!) then can someone remove the NPOV flag? Thanks Ephebi 22:47, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

  • after positive feedback from Mbarbier I'll remove the disputed POV tag. Ephebi 08:34, 17 October 2007 (UTC)


Section moved to own article: United States federal register of greenhouse gas emissions, since doesn't discuss carbon credits.

What nonsense. Isn't it just like liberals to decry the use of resources and then pretend that throwing money around makes their own usage disappear. No clothes on that emperor, folks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:20, 18 October 2007 (UTC) Ok, This talk is about whether or not carbon credits and carbon offsets should be bundled together ... They should not. Doing so is like saying that a validated unit of some currency (such as a dollar) is the same as an I-O-U among friends. Carbon Offsets are NOT ACREDDITED whereas Carbon Credits ARE ACCREDITED. The two must not be confused. Tristan TOnks Energy Descent Ltd. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

How buying carbon credits can reduce emissions[edit]

this makes no sense. it states that if you needed credits covering 20,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, because you have exhausted your carbon allowance for the year, you would just buy them from a company that would then plant trees which will draw back 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. if you then overshoot your carbon quota the next year you will have to buy another 20,000 tons worth of credits. which doesn't seem right, since the trees you purchased the previous year are already drawing back that 20,000 tons of CO2. i guess the trees they plant for you only draw back CO2 for one year, then drop dead. —Preceding HarMegiddo comment added by (talk) 08:00, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I think you are trying to read in some meanings that aren't there. However, I've tweaked the wording & the example to make it more real world. (There are a lot more approved power projects than forestry ones) Ephebi (talk) 08:56, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
The article doesnt explain it well,but the point is that once everyone is in the system and is used to how to buy/sell and report on emissions etc Then overtime you jack reduce everyones 'free quota' The factory that was producing 100,000 tones that had a quote of 80,000 is then given only a quota of 65,000 tones. Basically there should be a limited supply of approved offsets you can buy hence the price of the carbon credits goes up, and up and up. Hence finally the company goes 'hell these credits are getting to expensive' and decides hmm maybe if I reduce my carbon emissions I can save some money... and BANG right there the company reoptimises profits using the least polluting option it can find, saving the environment through economic self interest! --Evolve2k (talk) 05:42, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

carbon credits - Revenue[edit]

Hi ppl,

I do not understand how one can make a profit out of it in terms of selling the carbon credits from Developing countries to the developed one.

Regards, Jags —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:51, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

As I understand carbon crediting is profitable to businesses that either produce carbon credits or it is profitable to carbon brokers. A business that produces carbon credits will be performing some kind of action that the government recognizes as "green," such as producing biofuels, using solar power, or whatever may be designated as such at the time. Carbon brokers then sell these companies' carbon credits to other companies that do not produce "green" products, such as coal plants, pesticide factories, or any company which produces pollutants as they are defined by a designated government comittee. To continue functioning, non-green companies have to have carbon credits, so both the brokers and "green" companies make money by moving them.
However, it's this reader's opinion that the article is somewhat slanted in view. It is, in fact, somewhat difficult to understand how carbon crediting relates to business and money making, and that is a fundamental aspect of carbon crediting which should be thoroughly adressed. Currently the article refers to buyers of carbon credits as companies which "desire to reduce their carbon footprint," but this is a very positive way of looking at the carbon crediting initiative. A more nuetral explanation for carbon crediting and how it functions from an economic and political perspective would be greatly appreciated. There's a great deal more to the subject than "reducing damages to the enviornment." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:37, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Reducing emissions in developing countries is generally cheaper than in developed countries, primarily due to exchange rates favouring developed countries. Therefore selling developing country reductions to a developed country there is money to be made. (TimS TimS (talk) 15:14, 11 October 2010 (UTC))

how it works.[edit]

This article does not have a flat out "how it works and what the effects", and if it does, that is pretty pathetic i can't find it.....--Cooljuno411 (talk) 21:12, 6 July 2008 (UTC)


The section on Additionality is completely opaque. I've read it three times and I still don't know what additionality is. Additionality is a term used ... to describe the fact that a carbon dioxide reduction project would not have occurred had it not been for concern for the mitigation of climate change. Huh? Lots of words could be used to describe that fact. —johndburger 22:36, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Additionality deals with the issue of whether a project is being taken on because it provides cost savings or because it is reduces emissions. For example, if the project is being taking on because it provides a way for a company to save money on energy costs, then it lacks additionality. However, if the project doesn't provide economical benefit and is being taken soley for the purpose of lowering GHG emissions, then it meets the additionality requirement. This helps ensure that 100% of carbon credits awarded are helping finance projects that provide GHG reductions that wouldn't have taken place without the presence of the credits. Also, it's important to note that any project completed to comply with government laws would also lack additionality.--Infoneeded821 (talk) 17:55, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

I attempted to flesh the definition out a bit, because I thought it was a little opaque. Honestly, though, it's always a dense concept, and I'm not sure my version is any clearer... TinyHelmsman (talk) 14:34, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

The main issue for additionality is whether a given project to reduce emissions would have occurred in the absence of a particular scheme which purports to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting or funding the project. For example, if someone was going to re-plant trees on deforested land anyway, or improve the insulation in an office building, the projects would not have additionality with respect to someone else's plan to claim them as a source of carbon offsets. The concept is inherently unclear because it depends on something that may be hard to test: whether a project would happen anyway without some external funding mechanism. It also shares the weakness of carbon trading in general, namely that if people can only reduce their emissions to zero, and if we need everybody to reduce to zero, then nobody really has any spare reductions they can trade away. Carbon trading makes sense if we only need modest reductions, such as the targets in the Kyoto Protocol, or in the earliest phase of a large reduction, when it would make economic sense for some people or companies to make large percentage reductions early and share them, or if someone has a credible plan for actually removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and permanently sequestering them (such as Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage). A person or project which becomes actually carbon negative would have real carbon credits to sell to someone else. Anyway, an analogy in everyday life is to determine the additionality of actions intended to help reach a goal, such as watering the garden or praying for a sick person. If the garden grows, and the sick person recovers, before you can take credit for watering or praying (i.e. attribute additionality to those actions), you would need to be confident that without those actions the garden and the patient would have died or failed to thrive. Another analogy is the rooster which crows but cannot take credit for the sunrise - the sunrise lacks additionality for the rooster, if I understand the concept correctly. --Teratornis (talk) 23:40, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm looking around to see the other coverage of this term. Wikt:Additionality might be one of the better definitions I've seen. I think I was slightly wrong with the rooster example above: the rooster's crowing lacks additionality for the sunrise, which would have occurred anyway. --Teratornis (talk) 23:47, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

carbon credit for growing trees[edit]

what is the area under forest require to earn one carbon credit annually? what is the market value of one carbon credit? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Removed June 4 2011[edit]

There is also a fear among many who think that the "cap and trade" of greenhouse gasses is a way to *tax ordinary citizens throughout the world just for breathing,cooking and travel. There are others who feel that there is no reason for such a system because governments will reap the benefits of a new form of tax and there will be little or no change in carbon emission. I have just parked this here as it was added to the list of 'See also' links and it has no [reliable source]. Mrfebruary (talk) 01:31, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Activities that result in carbon credits.[edit]

There are a range of activites that result in an overall reduction in carbon production: 1 Having existing forests.Although the Amazon tropical rain forest has much reduced area the biomass has actually increased due to the rise in CO2(the food of all things green). 2 Planting new trees or other biomass,especially those that take a long time to grow. 3 Switching from a CO2 producing energy system (coal and gas burning) to a non Co2 producing system such as nuclear,wave action ,solar,HEP. 4 Inventing engines that produce no or low CO2 such as electric engines in cars or more efficient industrial engines. It seems that in some East European nations "Green" firms are being set up to promote these activities and are therefore allowed by their governments to sell cheap carbon credits. It remains to be seen if these businesses actually do result in lower emissions. Given the situation in Greece ,Italy and Spain I would expect this kind of business to flourish if allowed. It seems an ideal business for the mafia or East European equivalent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 19 November 2011 (UTC)


Carbon Credits Turning ‘Junk’ as Ban Shuts Door by Dinakar Sethuraman and Natalie Obiko Pearson Dec 6, 2011 1:02 PM ET

"Emissions-trading systems in Australia and New Zealand also will forbid so-called industrial- gas credits, compounding a glut that sent prices for the credits to an all-time low last month."

"HFC-23 (hydrofluorocarbon-23) and NO2 (nitrous oxide) are so damaging to the environment that they should be banned outright and not entitled to get emission credits, the EU and other governments have said. "

At least 11 publicly traded companies own projects that reduce emissions of HFC-23 or N2O, according to UN project documents. They include a plant set up by Rhodia in Brazil, a facility in Mexico started by a joint venture between Honeywell and Cydsa SAB (CYDSASAA), and at least 10 other projects owned by China’s Zhejiang Juhua Co. (600160) and Dongyue Group (189) and India’s Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd. (RCF), SRF Ltd., Chemplast Sanmar Ltd. (CPI), Gujarat Fluorochemicals Ltd. (GFLC), Navin Flourine, Hindustan Fluorocarbons Ltd. (HFC) and Deepak Fertilizers & Petrochemicals Corp. (DFPC)

There is a “massive push” to register as many projects as possible before the end of 2012 in order to qualify for EU ETS eligibility, said Richard Chatterton, analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It’s increasingly unlikely that these projects will get through in time, he said.

Keywords; Enel SpA, Honeywell International Inc., and Solvay SA (SOLB)’s Rhodia; Certified Emission Reduction, European Union (world’s largest cap and trade system), Standard Bank Plc, Carbon offset, Clean Development Mechanism, International Emissions Trading Association, Least developed country (LDC), Asian Development Bank, Sindicatum, Citigroup Inc. and Cargill, (talk) 07:44, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Per For voluntary schemes, see carbon offset, see Talk:Carbon offset comment. (talk) 09:08, 12 December 2011 (UTC)