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How Are Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture Defined

Carbon-based credits as well as carbon captures are two known ways to help reduce global carbon emissions. However, they operate in different ways and have different implications for your own carbon emissions. We had to inquire: What is the difference of carbon offsets and carbon capture?

Carbon credits can be traded as certificates or permits that define a maximum level of carbon emissions for industries, companies or even countries. Carbon capture is the process of capturing of carbon dioxide emissions shortly after they’ve been emitted but before they can enter our atmosphere.

In the fight against climate change, how do we discern the difference between carbon credits and carbon capture? Here we’ll define both terms, identify the primary advantages and distinctions between them, explore how they operate and the impact they have on carbon emissions, and discuss why they are both important in the fight against climate change.

How are Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture Defined?

Carbon-based credits as well as carbon capture is two of the sustainability tools that can aid companies and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint. But since they are different ways of working, understanding the differences is important.

What Does the Dictionary Say Concerning Carbon Credits? Capture

Carbon credits can be traded as certificates or permits which grant businesses, industries, or nations the ability to emit 1 tonnes (1,000kg) of CO2 or the equivalent of any other greenhouse gas (GHG).

Carbon credits are a kind of climate currency, meaning they are subject to demand and supply and can be bought and sold in a cap-and-trade market. The market restricts the amount of total CO2 emissions can be released. The market for cap-and trade was established after the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement that set a maximum volume of GHG emissions that could emit into the environment both internationally and locally.

Each entity operating under the cap-and trade program receives a certain number of carbon credits each year. They are able to purchase more credits in the event that their emissions exceed those of what was allocated, and can sell the credits they don’t use to other companies if their emissions are lower than what was originally issued.

But carbon credits are not the only tool available. Carbon capture is another option to cut carbon emissions.

Carbon capture refers to the process of capturing carbon after it is released but before it can enter our atmosphere. After it has been captured, carbon can either be stored deep underground or repurposed into commercially-marketable products. This is referred to as carbon capture and storage/sequestration (CCS).

There are 3 types of carbon capture:

Post-combustion: After combustion of fossil fuels, the CO2 is removed from the flue gas that is produced.

Pre-combustion: Prior to the time that fossil fuels are burned, the fuel is transformed into a mix of hydrocarbons and CO2.

Oxyfuel Fuels from fossil sources are burned in the presence of almost pure oxygen, which results in CO2 and steam as byproducts.

As of the year 2020 there were at least 26 carbon capture projects in operation across the globe, with 21 more in development, and 13 projects in advanced development. Carbon capture has been shown in industrial sectors such as coal gasification, ethanol production, fertilizer production, natural gas processing, refinery hydrogen production, as well as the generation of power by coal combustion.

What are the differences between and Advantages of Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture

Carbon credits as well as carbon capture provide ways by which we can mitigate global warming and carbon emissions. However, they’re also two distinct ways of tackling climate change with different environmental effects so it is essential to recognize their differences.

The primary distinction between carbon credits and carbon capture lies in the fact that carbon credits incentivize the shift to greener technologies to limit emissions to the set amount. Carbon capture targets the carbon already produced, but stops it from entering our atmosphere.

The following are key advantages for carbon credits.

Limits on carbon emissions may be set with a strictness
Unused credits may be traded with other companies
Incentivizes companies to invest into greener technologies

These are some of the key benefits of carbon capture:

Get rid of carbon before it enters our atmosphere
Can lead to either carbon storage as well as carbon reuse

Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture impact your Carbon Footprint

Knowing the similarities and differences in carbon credit and carbon capture are crucial when making a decision of which one to use.

How can carbon credits and Carbon Capture Reduce Carbon Emissions

The goal of both carbon credits as well as carbon capture is to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate climate change.

Carbon credits: Credits represent indirect emission reductions. The imposing of a cap on emissions, and gradually lowering this cap over time decreases the carbon emission over time, thus preventing CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

Carbon capture Carbon capture represents indirect reductions in emissions. Carbon is captured following combustion, but before it is allowed to enter our atmosphere.

When you hear “carbon credit” you should think of the term “allowance”. Carbon credits represent the maximum amount of CO2 an organization is allowed to emit. The limit on CO2 emissions slows down in time, forcing companies to emit less lower amounts of CO2 to remain within the limits of the cap. Companies that emit high levels of CO2 emissions are able to continue operating however at an increase in cost.

When you hear the phrase “carbon capture” consider the term “trap”. Carbon capture can still allow for the combustion of fossil fuels in current levels, but it catches carbon emissions before they gets into the atmosphere. The carbon is then kept or reused into different materials.

What impact do Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture have on your carbon emissions?

One of the best ways we can aid in the fight against global warming is to reduce the carbon footprint of our lives. To do this, it is first necessary to cut down on the carbon emissions we emit.

Carbon credits: Carbon credits do not directly reduce your carbon footprint.

Carbon capture The carbon capture process does not directly reduce the carbon footprint of your home.

Carbon credits do not directly decrease your carbon emissions. Setting a limit on the amount of carbon emissions allowed is an indirect way to reduce emissions since companies are able to continue to emit emissions for as long as they are paying the cost. In conjunction with direct measures for emission reductions, such as cutting down on individual energy use and carbon emissions, the carbon credit could be more effective.

Carbon credits do not directly reduce your carbon emissions. Capturing carbon emissions in the wake of combustion of fossil fuels is an indirect way of reducing emissions. Knowing there is an option to erase our carbon emissions after we create them, it stifles any motivation for decreasing emissions of our own accord.

What effect do carbon credits and Carbon Capture Impact global carbon Emissions

Every year we pour over 36 million tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, fueling climate changes. This results in sea-level rise, melting sea ice, changes in patterns of precipitation and ocean acidification. Carbon capture and credits are designed to decrease global emissions and reduce these negative environmental impacts.

Carbon credits: Carbon credits mitigate the problem, but they don’t work at the core issue of reducing overall CO2 emissions.

Carbon capture Carbon capture can help mitigate the issue, but it doesn’t address the root issue of cutting CO2 emissions in general.

Carbon credits do not have an impact on global carbon emissions. Although they may incentivize companies to reduce their CO2 emissions, the main impact of reducing emissions within the cap-and-trade carbon credits system is to improve the bottom line of a company. The direct goal of carbon permits isn’t to lower greenhouse gas emissions or aid in sustainable energy projects, but to help companies make money.

Carbon capture does not have a significant impact on global carbon emissions. Once carbon has been caught, the next step is to preserve carbon. In 2021, overall carbon storage and capture capacity was 40 million tonnes annually. However, to allow CCS to make a significant contribution in the fight against climate change the installed capacity should reach 5,600 million tonnes annually. There is still a substantial gap between what we have now and what’s required to reduce our emissions to Paris Climate Agreement target levels.

The COVID-19 epidemic caused the biggest reduction in carbon emissions related to energy since World War II, a decrease of 2 billion tons. But, emissions rose quickly at the end of 2020, with levels that ended in December being 60 million tons higher than in December of 2019. This means that the earth continues to heat up at a rapid rate and that there isn’t enough being done to implement sustainable energy practices.

What are the environmental benefits from Carbon Credits in addition to Carbon Capture

Utilizing carbon credits, as well as the carbon-capture method, we can cut down on our consumption of and dependence on fossil energy sources (i.e., coal, oil along with natural gas) that can help lessen the impact of global warming by limiting CO2 emissions. However, they also have numerous environmental advantages.

Carbon credits: Carbon credits facilitate the transition to more sustainable energy sources and encourage energy independence.

Carbon capture: The capture of carbon assists in the mitigation of climate change.

Carbon credits are a way to encourage businesses to change to more sustainable energy sources which include wind, solar hydro, and geothermal energy. They don’t release carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides sulfur dioxides, mercury in the atmosphere, the soil, or water. These pollutants are also known to be responsible for the thinning of the ozone layer, global sea-level rise and the melting of the glaciers that cover the globe.

The switch from fossil fuels to green energy can also help to increase energy independence. Being able produce your electricity without the aid of other nations is a major step towards becoming self-sufficient.

Carbon capture can aid in the mitigation of climate change as it works to reduce carbon emissions into our atmosphere. The carbon levels within our atmosphere have risen because of human-caused emissions since the start at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1750. Emissions grew steadily up to reach 5 billion tons per year in the mid-20th century before growing exponentially to more than 35 billion tons per year at the conclusion at the end of the century. The global average amount of carbon dioxide that was present in the atmosphere was around 280 parts per million (ppm) in 1750 but in the present, it’s over 400 parts per million. Carbon capture could help stop this level from growing more.

How Effective are Carbon credits and carbon capture in reducing carbon Emissions

Carbon credits and carbon capture can reduce carbon emissions under certain circumstances.

Carbon credits: Improper reporting as well as differences in maximum GHG levels among countries hinder carbon credit effectiveness at a global scale.

Carbon capture: The high cost of initial capital and weak economic incentives hinder carbon capture globally.

Carbon credits have faced criticism because many industries aren’t equipped with the technology to monitor and calculate their CO2 emissions. This makes it easier for businesses to cheat on their emissions reports to claim they emit less CO2 than they actually do. Furthermore, each country has different standards and limits for CO2 emissions. If the threshold is not set high enough, the companies will not be incentivized to reduce their emissions. If the cap is set too low, and companies will be overly burdened to reduce their emissions. And the extra cost will be passed down to consumers .

Carbon capture acts as a reactive, instead of proactive, method of dealing with the issue of emissions. In this way, we can continue to burn fossil fuels at a rapid rate. It’s also costly to implement and there is little economic motivation to utilize it until the price for emitting carbon rises sufficiently to force behavioral changes.

Why are Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture Important to Fight Climate Change

Carbon credits and carbon capture are essential to combat climate change since they both reduce carbon emissions. This helps to mitigate the impacts of climate change. This creates positive effects on public health as well as the diversity of animals and plants. In addition, it boosts the global economy and leads to innovative, more environmentally-friendly solutions.

However carbon credits as well as carbon capture shouldn’t be considered a panacea for combating climate change. Relying solely on credits is not feasible since the initial consequence of reducing emissions within the cap-and trade system is to benefit a company’s bottom line. Relying on carbon capture only is impractical because it is an inactive, not proactive approach to tackling emissions.

In the long-term, direct methods of carbon footprint reduction are much more effective. In the long run, reducing your travel, household, and lifestyle carbon footprints could make a big difference in the fight against climate change!