Is offsetting a genuine way to reduce emissions?

Some people have questioned the principle of offsetting and some offset providers have been better organised and independently verified than others. On the principle, the physics is fundamental: GHG emissions come together in the atmosphere: our impact is a collective one and our response also needs to be a collective one. As long as the offset takes place on planet Earth then in principle it can be genuine. Offset providers do however require to be independently verified to ensure quality of projects and additionality – projects which would not have happened at all, or at the same scale and pace, anyway. The projects in less developed countries which Atmosfair typically supports such as safe low carbon heat and light provide a good example.

Are we sure the impact of climate change needs such drastic action?

There is no absolute certainty but mounting evidence of the seriousness that human impact is having on our climate and as a consequence on sea levels and sea acidity. It’s about managing risks. If you want some evidence on specific points, either to satisfy your own questions or those of others, take a look at www.realitydrop.org

Who is behind the Geetotal initiative?

Geetotal was started as a result of discussion by a group of people in central Scotland. It welcomes people from anywhere. For now it is being resourced by the social enterprise iPower (www.ipoweruk.com) as part of iPower’s social and environmental commitment

Can organisations make the Geetotal Commitment as well?

Yes, organisations are encouraged to make the Geetotal commitment. The four elements to the commitment are the same. The calculation of emissions will be more complex, depending on the scale and nature of the organisation.

Does anyone check that the commitments are being kept to?

No, keeping to the Commitment is based on trust. For larger organisations, it would be expected that the organisation itself arranges for external verification of its emissions levels, which is common practice for large organisations making public claims about their emissions.