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Sunday
Jun302019

Personal carbon offsetting 2019

TL;DR

I have discovered that individual purchases of carbon offsets from registered charities (i.e. not for a business nor from a business) are tax deductible. As such, while the South Pole Group (from whom I last purchased) is still around, I have switched to buying Gold Standard Voluntary Emission Reductions from the Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund. They sell offsets from Australia’s first (and, as far as I can tell, only) GS VER project.

Otherwise, my post from 2017 is still pretty current.

***

The South Pole Group shop remains unchanged and they pretty much the same projects – though, while the bicycle refurbishment project is still there, my favoured cooking stove project in Honduras has vanished.

At some point in the past two years I stumbled across the Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund (CNCF), an organisation that (along with its B2B sister, Carbon Neutral) offers the first (only?) Gold Standard Voluntary Emission Reductions taking place in Australia. The CNCF website says, “Donating trees or revegetation offsets to contribute towards offsetting emissions through Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund is tax deductible for all contributions over $2.”  I wasn’t sure whether that included purchases of offsets or only donations, but the CNCF confirmed to me that the ATO has ruled individual purchases are included. (I.e. not purchases for business purposes.)

Excellent! So, what do Australia’s only GS VER’s look like? The CNCF lists a range of current and past projects on its site, but these are not the source of GS VERs; the CNCF is only an on-seller, not a generator of GS VERs. These come from a project in the Yarra Yarra corridor which, I’m almost certain, is the Australian Native Reforestation Gold Standard VER project described on the Carbon Neutral page:

Our Gold Standard certified project is planting up to 40 different native species of trees and shrubs.
This multi-species reforestation project has revegetated over 10,000 hectares of degraded farmland. This is a significant achievement in a highly fragmented landscape and has multiple benefits –

  • increased wildlife habitat and connectivity
  • carbon removal (sequestration) and climate change action,
  • improved soil erosion control, and
  • provision of opportunities for
  • scientific research,
  • eco-tourism and
  • community education.

This project is GS3039 and can be found on the GS registry here. The CNCF sells these Gold Standard Australian Biodiverse Reforestation offsets for AU$25/tonne.

I want to support high-quality Australian projects and the broader environmental benefits of reforestation have value to me (more than, say, wind farms in Taiwan or landfill gas capture in China), so this year I have purchased my offsets from the CNCF. The purchase process is straightforward and they accept credit cards (incl AMEX) and PayPal.

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