Carbon offsets

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Carbon offsets are a mechanisms by which carbon emissions by individuals and/or companies, or even countries, can be "offset" there carbon emissions.

The concept revolves around buying an "offset" in the form of a certificate or credit, which is associated with activity that is supposed to be linked to tangible carbon emission reductions. Such activities include the establishment of tree plantations.

However, there are no international agreed offset mechanisms, or standards in place for them. Emission reductions from offsets cannot be guaranteed. For example, a tree plantation could be burnt in a bushfire, resulting in the carbon it stores being released to the atmosphere.

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