The Urgent Need for Emissions Reduction and Carbon Offsetting

The Climate Action Challenge

Shelby Torrence

Shelby Torrence

03 Dec, 2023

The Urgent Need for Emissions Reduction and Carbon Offsetting

The Need for Emissions Reduction and Offsetting for Protection

The escalating impacts of climate change, from scorching heat waves to unprecedented wildfires and extreme weather events, underscore the critical need for immediate action. Hopefully every business is well aware that reducing their carbon footprints is not just a moral imperative but a strategic necessity. In this blog, we dissect the pressing urgency for emissions reductions and delve into the transformative power of carbon offsetting and the role of nature-based solutions compared to other types of conventional carbon credits.

From record-breaking heat waves and wildfires to catastrophic floods and droughts, we are already witnessing some of the devastating effects of climate change. These events serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need to reduce emissions and protect our planet.

While reducing our

carbon footprint

is essential and should be a priority for every person and business,

carbon offsetting

must also play a crucial role in compensating for unavoidable emissions and supporting sustainable practices. Carbon offsetting involves buying carbon credits, financial instruments representing the reduction, avoidance, or removal of one ton of carbon dioxide. Companies and individuals invest in emission reduction projects by purchasing these credits, supporting eco-friendly initiatives and balancing out their carbon emissions. In essence, carbon credits facilitate the financing of environmentally beneficial projects, contributing to the global effort to address climate change.

Accelerating Emissions Reductions for Immediate Climate Action

Due to human activity, the planet has already warmed by more than 1°C since the Industrial Revolution. Average yearly global greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history from 2010 to 2019. Between 2016 and 2019, the average overall reduction in emissions in 64 countries was just

160 million metric tonnes of CO2 per year

. To keep global warming well below 2°C compared to preindustrial levels, global emissions reductions must be around ten times that amount,

1 to 2 billion tonnes per year

Researchers agree that we cannot continue relying on fossil fuels. Under the

Paris Agreement

, global leaders agreed to lower emissions to maintain a habitable planet. Emissions reduction is urgently required; however, time is running out. That's where carbon credits come in.

Carbon Footprint

What are carbon credits?

We must raise our ambition to substantially reduce emissions and meet globally agreed objectives. For the planet to achieve net zero emissions by the year 2050, the

voluntary carbon market

(VCM) must expand considerably - there needs to be a 15-fold expansion by 2030 and a 100-fold expansion by 2050. Aside from moral drivers, it is increasingly important for businesses to take action in order to limit financial risks and retain consumer confidence. 

To achieve our commitments quickly and efficiently, we need carbon credits. Carbon credits are measurable, verifiable reductions of emissions from climate action projects corresponding to 1 tonne co2 sequestered or not emitted. As a result of these projects, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, removed, or avoided. But they also bring a range of other advantages, such as empowering communities, protecting ecosystems, restoring forests, or reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The UK is one of several nations that have domestic carbon standards in place for the planting of trees and the reforestation of peatlands. The

Woodland Carbon Code (WCC)


Peatland Code (PC)

are the two main domestic carbon standards and encompass core principles including additionality and permanence.

However, both are particularly suited to the UK because their research is country-specific and relates to UK laws like the

UK Forestry Standard (UKFS)

. This guarantees that each project continues to comply with the applicable UK regulation.

Carbon Accounting

Should you consider carbon offsetting?

Customers, investors, and regulators are now paying attention to the commercial risks associated with climate change and their carbon footprint. This makes reducing and offsetting both an investment and a commitment. When publicly undertaking carbon offsetting, it is crucial to back these commitments up with measurable efforts to decarbonise operations and supply chain.


recent study

by Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace highlights a positive correlation between carbon credit purchases and the pace of corporate decarbonisation. The research found that companies actively engaged in the voluntary carbon market are not only investing in carbon offset projects but also demonstrating a stronger commitment to reducing their own emissions across their operations and value chains. This suggests that carbon credits can serve as a catalyst for broader sustainability initiatives, driving businesses towards a more environmentally responsible future.

The study's findings align with the growing recognition that

carbon offsetting is an essential component of a comprehensive climate action strategy

. While reducing emissions at the source remains paramount, carbon offsets can effectively neutralise unavoidable emissions and support the development of sustainable practices. As businesses increasingly recognise the urgency of addressing climate change, the demand for carbon credits is projected to surge, further fuelling the growth of the VCM and its positive impact on global decarbonisation efforts.

Here at Earthly, we firmly believe that

carbon offsetting

is an important part of the solution to the climate crisis. In fact, we’re here to offer a different approach in the fight against carbon emissions and climate change. Our goal is to help businesses make a positive impact through investment in nature-based solutions. 

Rather than using traditional carbon credits, such as renewable energy projects, we prefer

nature-based credits

, which can be generated through schemes such as planting trees, protecting

endangered forests

and supporting regenerative agriculture projects. In fact, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) have been recognised by the IUCN as a significant instrument in tackling societal concerns such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and food security.

Investing in nature

If you're ready to make a difference, head over to our

nature-based project marketplace

and start maximising the effect and value of your investments in nature.

Earthly Nature-based Marketplace