For several years, carbon offsetting has sold the idea that our bad actions (emissions) can be redeemed by purchasing good actions (cheap carbon credits). But nothing will ever replace the indispensable reduction in our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, that each of us needs to take the measure of.
Moreover, there is nothing more obscure than a carbon credit from a forestry project. CO2 sequestering takes place over several decades, as long as the tree grows, and not when the carbon credit is purchased. What’s more, there is no absolute guarantee that the carbon (in the tree) will stay stored, given that forests are liable to climatic hazards (storms, global warming…), fires, illnesses or deforestation due to human activity.
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These calculators have been created to try and raise awareness of the carbon impact of our different activities, and should be used to help reduce your carbon emissions.
Once you have calculated your foodprint, we would invite you to support the forest and its fundamental role in carbon sequestration. However we would like to point out that nature is more complicated than a simple equation, and the first step should always be to reduce emissions.
Forest ecosystems recycle carbon, and due to this play a major ecological role in the planet’s climate balance. For their whole lives, thanks to the biological phenomenon of photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon from the CO2 in the atmosphere. They stock it in their trunk, branches, roots and leaves, and expel oxygen into the air. This allows us to breathe and reduces the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The annual carbon absorption capacity of french forests is estimated at 70 million tons of CO2 equivalent, i.e. 15% of French green-house gas emissions. For example, a 5 cubic meter tree can absorb the equivalent of 4 flights to and from Paris and New York (for one of the passengers).
The forest’s carbon is found not only in the living biomass (plants, leaves, trunk, roots) but also in the dead biomass on the ground. The carbon stored by the forest’s living matter is estimated to be 8 billion tons of CO2 equivalent, which makes forest the 2nd largest carbon sink of the planet, after the oceans.
It’s little known that wood, once it is cut, continues to hold carbon captive. The CO2 that was captured during the tree’s growth continues to be stocked during the lifetime of the products made from the wood. And this lifetime can span several hundreds of years.
This is why we suggest you contribute to CO2 sequestration, rather than using carbon offsetting as a kind of "right to pollute".