Credible Offsets

Signatories must take actions to neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially-beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Doing the hard work to decarbonize our businesses isn’t optional. It’s also not enough. Hitting the Paris Agreement targets 10 years early requires business leaders to work together to drive progress outside the scope of their own business operations.

 

By investing in nature-based solutions—along with our decarbonization initiatives—we’re doing both.

Karen Watts, Senior Manager, Right Now Climate Fund

Offsets and the road to net zero

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Offsets have courted more than a little controversy. But even with the strongest will, smartest thinking, and deepest pockets in the world, the majority of global businesses are unable to completely eliminate their emissions in what little time we have. Removing carbon outside an organization’s own operations, through offsets, gets the world to carbon neutrality faster.

Commitment to The Climate Pledge means signing up to a radical shift in how we think about and approach offsets. They’re far more than a business accounting tool to neutralize remaining emissions—they are the opportunity for businesses to go beyond their own operations and work together to tackle some of the biggest challenges on the journey to the Paris Agreement targets. Just ‘buying some offsets’ won’t cut it. The key here is positive impact on climate change, delivered with intent, integrity, and transparency.

Impact, unpacked

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The clear and immediate opportunity for lasting impact is to restore and regenerate natural ecosystems across the world. Their combined ability to take carbon out of the atmosphere and store it is absolutely essential to our journey to net zero carbon by 2040.

Even as we reshape global business practices in the low-emission and zero-carbon economy we’re working so hard towards, businesses joining forces under The Climate Pledge can harness nature-based solutions at a truly transformative scale—and neutralize remaining emissions in the process. As the road to carbon neutrality twists and turns, we have the capacity, means, and scientific integrity to get there.

Nature has the answers. Naturally.

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“Nature-based solutions offer a really critical short-to-medium-term bridge to a lower carbon world. And the unique thing about them is, they're available now.” Josh Parrish, The Nature Conservancy

One of the answers to the climate challenge has been growing all around us, all along: The natural world. Its soils, forests, grasslands, shrublands, wetlands, and aquatic ecosystems have the unique power to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it. Essentially, we have a vast, underused carbon storage capability that has huge potential, and nature-based solutions are the way to harness that potential.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is clear: Nature-based solutions like forest conservation and reforestation are mission-critical if we hope to keep global temperature increases to 1.5ºC, in line with the Paris Agreement. With involvement and investment from The Climate Pledge signatories, we can scale nature-based solutions to a point where they can have the needed impact on the world—and get us to our ambitious goal.

Better offsets, for good

A complete shift in how we think about and use offsets is fundamental to The Climate Pledge.

By creating a more symbiotic relationship with the natural world through nature-based solutions, signatories aren’t just committing to pushing the boundaries of carbon removal; they’re committing to restoring human and ecological wellbeing. Credible offsets are more than an invaluable tool in our fight against climate change.

They’re the tool for creating a more sustainable world.

The Three Pledge Commitments