Carbon Offset Project Types

Carbon offset projects can be grouped by type of project.  Each project type has its pros and cons. For example, some projects types deliver high co-benefits, while others are clearly additional and easy to manage. The links below describe each category in more detail:

Not all offset standards and program accept all project types. The table below gives a brief overview of the project types accepted by each standard.

Project Types
(taken from Making Sense of the Voluntary Carbon Market: A Comparison of Carbon Offset Standards)

Background Information: Current Sources of Greenhouse Gases

CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are currently over 26 gigatonnes (Gt) per year and growing rapidly, while emissions from deforestation and other land-use changes are approximately 6 Gt CO2 per year. 

The largest growth in global greenhouse gas emissions between 1970 and 2004 has come from the energy supply sector, which saw an increase of 145 per cent.  Transport emissions grew by 120 per cent, industry emissions by 65 per cent and land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) emissions by 40 per cent.

Global energy intensity decreased by 33 per cent between 1970 and 2004.  However this has been offset by the combined effects of global income growth per capita (77 per cent) and global population growth (69 per cent).

Income per capita, emissions per capita and energy intensity vary significantly from country to country.  In 2004, OECD countries held 20% of the world's population, produced 57% of global gross domestic product (GDP) based on purchasing power parity, and were responsible for 46% of global GHG emissions.

For detailed information on GHG emissions, please consult the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) (graphs taken from IPCC (2007). Technical Summary, WG III, p.29)

GHG by sectorGHG Emissions