This is a set of hypotheses about how to use offsets. We use the term hypotheses as George Soros does: Our best guess about the truth, which could be changed based on testing in the real world.
These hypotheses are meant as an implementation of the Oxford Offsetting Principles. The Oxford Principles are a good starting point but general and subject to interpretation. We're here test and implement it in the real world. By offsetting our own emissions, from travel to home heating, we'll study the emissions and offsets in detail.
The first step is to analyze the companies' general climate performance. Companies which are not doing enough to reduce emissions should require more offsets. This will make it naturally more preferable to buy from the better companies.
While sustainable fuels are coming, offsets will be the only way to reduce our travel emissions and natural gas use for at least another decade to mid 2030s.
Both reduction and removal carbon credits are equally preferable given the high levels of emissions and the need to reduce emissions now. Favoring removals when there are plenty of legitimate reductions is not a good idea. If we don’t reduce first, we could never remove enough later.
For an offset to be valid, it must satisfy all these criteria at the time of the activity - not when the original project was certified: additionality, baseline, leakage, permanence, real.
Permanence means minimum of 50 years.
Offset must prove it is valid on all criteria or will not be considered valid.
Offset must not be issued or retired already in another registry, or it is double counting and will be invalid.
Offset must be purchased for a specific project and retired in your name or in your account name at a broker. If the latter, you must be able to prove that you're the account holder at the broker.
Offsets must follow standards that are maintained independently of project developers.
Offsets must be audited by auditors who are independent of the project developers.
Auditors can be involved in developing the standards, but the standards should not be maintained solely by auditors and definitely not by one auditor.
If invalidated after purchase, replacement offsets must be purchased. All members of the DAO must commit to this.
What We're Working On
We're reviewing some actual offsets on the Offsets discussions channel to gain a deeper understanding of them. Everyone is welcome to join.
Where to Buy Offsets
So far we have identified the following sources where we could buy offsets from specific projects, rather than generics: