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Virtual Storeroom for Carbon Offsets (Cancelled)
Helen Coleman declined the purchase of 10,000 $7.14 offsets for the virtual storeroom.
The 2015 iCAP chapter 8, objective 2 is, "By the end of FY17, develop an administrative mechanism to enable campus units to voluntarily purchase carbon offsets." During FY17 and 18, iSEE investigated options to build a virtual storeroom for carbon offsets. The idea was to pre-purchase verified carbon credits at a bulk rate for campus, keep them in the virtual storeroom at iSEE, and resell them to campus departments upon request. Issues identified with this plan primarily revolved around the validity of carbon offsets available for purchase. While some offsets are available for a very low cost (such as $0.40/offset or ton of GHG emissions), the additionality of those offsets is highly questionable. More rigorously-verified carbon offsets could be purchased for over $7.00/offset, but the additionalility of those is still not 100% certain. At this time, the project is cancelled.
Carbon Offsets need to have true additionality in order to actually impact the global emission levels. One explanation of additionality is available online at http://www.co2offsetresearch.org/consumer/Additionality.html.