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Some answers to the questions we get asked all the time

What’s an airshed?

An “airshed” is a geographic area used for measuring air quality standards – the Earth’s atmosphere is in effect a single “airshed”.

Who are you?

We’re a New Zealand company that wants to help people take action against Climate Change. AIRSHED is the creation of two New Zealanders with young families hoping to make a difference to the environment we live in.

What’s an offset? Isn’t it just hot air?

Offsets are verifiable carbon emission reductions or removals that can be used to compensate or counterbalance carbon emitted elsewhere. They result in there being fewer carbon emissions in the atmosphere than there would have been if the offsetting activity had not taken place.

One example of an offsetting activity is the generation of electricity from wind rather than by burning coal or gas. Wind generation creates fewer carbon emissions than coal or gas generation. The reduction in emissions delivered by online casinos wind generation can create an offset.

The key issue with offsets is that they are additional – that is, the emission reduction would not have happened anyway. So they can’t be created by “business as usual” activities.

What would I do with an offset?

By purchasing offsets, you can offset or neutralise your own unavoidable carbon emissions created from doing things like driving a car or heating a home.

Offsets are sold in units of one tonne of CO2 equivalent emissions reduced. This is why they are commonly called “carbon offsets” or “carbon credits” (with “carbon” being shorthand for CO2).

Offsets cover the six greenhouse gas emissions recognised under the Kyoto Protocol (including CO2) – all non CO2 carbon emissions are converted into CO2 equivalent units (CO2-e) in order to come up with a common currency for offsets. We call GHG emissions “carbon emissions” for simplicity.

Do offsets actually do anything? Do they reduce global carbon emissions?

Offsetting does reduce global carbon emissions. If the offsetting activity had not occurred, the amount of emissions in the atmosphere would be greater.

Each offset purchased by AIRSHED has been independently verified as representing a one tonne reduction in CO2-e emissions.

Offsetting also helps the spread of low-carbon technology by making available funds for investing in these technologies, often in developing countries where it is needed most.

Surely we should be reducing our emissions rather than buying offsets?

AIRSHED agrees that reducing our emissions is the most important step we can take towards combating Climate Change. However, we also think it’s important to offset carbon emissions because it’s difficult if not impossible for most people to reduce their carbon emissions to zero. Offsetting enables people to reduce their unavoidable emissions.

Aren’t you just doing this to make loads of money?

We need to make money to run our business – of course. But by running our business, we are helping to produce verifiable reductions of carbon emissions and to promote the development of emission-reducing technologies.

One of the keys to tackling Climate Change is to attract investment to projects and new technologies that reduce carbon emissions. AIRSHED helps to facilitate this investment.

How do I know I’m not getting sold dodgy offsets?

AIRSHED has a strict offsets policy that it applies to all of its offset purchases. In addition, AIRSHED only purchases high-quality offsets that conform to internationally accepted standards (such as the Gold Standard, or Kyoto Protocol).

Does AIRSHED produce its own offsets?

No. AIRSHED purchases high-quality New Zealand-sourced carbon offsets from third party best online casinos by developers or aggregators.

Are you involved with the Kyoto Protocol or any Emissions Trading Scheme?

No. AIRSHED works mainly in the voluntary carbon market. The voluntary offsets AIRSHED generally sells are not useable to satisfy a country’s emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol or to satisfy a company’s liabilities under a mandatory emissions trading scheme.

What’s the point of doing business in the voluntary carbon market when the country I live in is looking to implement an Emissions Trading Scheme? Won’t everything be carbon neutral anyway?

At AIRSHED we think it’s important that the voluntary and compliance markets work together. Voluntary carbon markets have potentially far broader scope than compliance markets because anyone can participate in them. This means more people can take action against Climate Change – which is good news.

Voluntary markets also commonly have carbon neutrality as their goal whereas compliance markets generally target a baseline emissions target. So compliance markets operate in carbon-positive territory. Compliance markets trade in compliance units or allowances that do not necessarily represent achieved emissions reductions or removals. Voluntary markets work beyond the reach of compliance markets and generally trade in offsets representing real and verifiable emissions reductions or removals.

Aren’t your New Zealand offsets double-counted with the New Zealand national inventory?

No. Currently AIRSHED only sells New Zealand-sourced offset products that pre-date the start of the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.

Can I on-sell the offset products that I buy from AIRSHED?

No. AIRSHED sells offset products to people for use in offsetting their carbon emissions.

All of the offsets that AIRSHED sells are retired by AIRSHED. This ensures these offsets cannot be double counted by different people claiming emissions reductions from the same offset. The retirement of all AIRSHED offsets is recorded on a recognised emissions register or its equivalent.


December 2016