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Utilize Carbon Credits (Proposed)

Description

In certain circumstances, it is impractical or not financially viable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions entirely to zero. To handle this circumstance, some entities purchase the carbon emission reduction from others. This transaction is called carbon offsets. One Carbon Credit equals one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent removed or kept from the atmosphere.  This is not the same as a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC).  Carbon Credits can be sold to monetize the UIUC successes in carbon footprint reductions, and the Carbon Credit Funds can be invested back into the iCAP efforts.  Carbon Credits can also be purchased to achieve the iCAP objectives.

As a campus, we have chosen to focus our sustainability efforts on systemic changes to our operations and infrastructure, rather than plan on purchasing carbon credits to offset our carbon footprint.  We recognize, however, that there are some carbon emissions that we cannot reasonably eliminate without impacting our higher education mission.  Therefore, the 2015 iCAP includes specific objectives related to Carbon Credits / Offsets.

Background

In the carbon market, our campus has been able to sell Carbon Credits from our long-term efforts and success in energy conservation.  The Carbon Credits are sold through an agreement with Second Nature, and the associated carbon offset project is approved for a ten-year term.  When the Carbon Credits are sold “for the good of the planet,” they do not reduce the total emissions for campus.  When they are sold to reduce the emissions of the purchaser, then the campus will buy replacement offsets, to maintain the total emission level for the associated time period.  Additionally, campus will purchase Carbon Credits to offset emissions that cannot be eliminated, such as air travel emissions.

Dates

  • Proposed May 15, 2010
    Proposed by 2010 iCAP

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