Offset Purchasing Guide

The climate forcing offset portfolio for Climate Clean is populated with mtCO2e credits that adhere to five conditions:

  1. Real
  2. Surplus
  3. Permanent
  4. Verifiable
  5. Enforceable

Explicit in the five conditions is the requirement that Climate Clean offsets are environmentally effective in mitigating Earth’s existing radiative forcing imbalance. Equally important, Climate Clean offsets are intended to catalyze the market penetration of critical climate forcing mitigation technologies while still championing cost-effectiveness
as an overarching theme.

Offsets can originate from emission reduction projects that reduce CO2- and non-CO2 forcing. The four Kyoto gases or classes of gases (CO2, CH4, N2O and PFC/CFC/SF6) and two local air pollutants or classes of air pollutants (tropospheric ozone and aerosols including black carbon) qualify as sources for offsets.

All offsets are permanent and validated/verified by third party reviewers as real and quantifiable with low uncertainty.

Valid category-specific emission reduction projects include:

  • CO2 – Renewable energy and energy efficiency. Wind, solar, or other renewable energy projects based in the US must be new capacity (date of initial operation on or after January 1, 2008) in states that do not have a Renewable Portfolio Standard or equivalent mandate in effect as of January 1, 2008. Energy efficiency projects must not include funding from taxpayer subsidies (i.e. System Benefits Funds). We do not purchase Renewable Energy Credits or Green Tags.  Likewise, we do not purchase offests from Reforestation or Aforestation projects.
  • CH4 – Dairy, landfill, wastewater treatment, natural gas transmission and distribution or coal mine projects.
  • N2O – Mature management, agricultural soil management or emission reductions from nitric acid/adipic acid production.
  • Chlorinated/Fluorinated Compounds – R134a projects can include substitution and/or destruction. SF6 projects can include substitution and/or capture projects.
  • Tropospheric ozone – Nitrogen oxides, non-methane hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide reduction projects including gross emitting vehicle retirement and industrial facility retrofits.
  • Black carbon – Diesel idling reductions, diesel engine retrofits with particle traps, two-stroke engine retirement, and biofuels (i.e., dung based fuels) substitution.

While recognizing that climate forcing reductions are equivalent irrespective of geographical location (the exception being tropospheric ozone and black carbon emission reductions), up to 50% of Climate Clean credits can be generated within the United States. The purpose of US based offsets is to catalyze the deployment of GHG reduction technologies within national boundaries. Delivered credits must be accompanied by a project design document, and an annual verification report developed by an independent third party validation entity.