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What Are the Differences Between Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture

Carbon capture and carbon credits are two well-known ways to help reduce global carbon emissions. Both operate differently and have different implications for your own carbon emissions. Therefore, we must consider the distinction between carbon-based credits and carbon captured?

Carbon credits are tradeable certificates or permits that define an upper limit on carbon emissions for industries, companies or countries. Carbon capture is capture of carbon emissions after they’ve been emitted but before they can enter our air.

In the fight against climate change how can we tell the difference between carbon credits and carbon capture? Here we’ll define both terms, identify the key advantages and disadvantages of each study how they operate and their impact on carbon emissions, and consider why they are equally crucial in fighting climate change.

What are Carbon Credits, Carbon Capture and Carbon Capture Defined?

Carbon credit and carbon capture can be described as two of the sustainability tools that can assist companies and individuals to reduce their carbon footprint. Since they are two distinct mechanisms, understanding their differences is vital.

What does the Dictionary Say Concerning Carbon Credits? Capture

Carbon credits are certificates that can be traded or permits which grant companies, industries, or even countries the ability to emit one ton (1,000kg) in CO2 (or an equivalent amount of a different greenhouse gas (GHG).

Carbon credits are a type of climate currency, which means they are dependent on demand and supply and are able to be purchased and sold via a cap-and trade market. This market limits how much total CO2 is emitted. Cap-and-trade markets became established after that of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty, set a maximum quantity of GHG emissions that could be released into the atmosphere both nationally and globally.

Every entity that participates in the cap-and-trade system is given the same amount of carbon credits per year. They can buy more if their emissions exceed what was allocated, and are able to sell any credits they do not use to other companies if their emissions are lower than what was allocated.

However, carbon credits aren’t the only tool available. Carbon capture is another option to reduce carbon emissions.

Carbon capture is the process of capturing carbon after it is released however before it is able to be released into the 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). Find out more at

There are three main kinds of carbon capture

Post-combustion: Following the fossil fuels are burned CO2 is removed the flue gas that is produced.

Pre-combustion: Before fossil fuels are burnt, the fuel is transformed to a mix of hydrogen and CO2.

Oxyfuel The fossil fuels are burnt in the presence of almost pure oxygen, resulting in CO2 and steam as byproducts.

In 2020, there were at least 26 carbon capture projects operating all over the world, including 21 in development, and 13 projects in advanced development. Carbon capture was demonstrated in the industrial sector, such as coal gasification, ethanol production fertilizer production natural gas processing refinery hydrogen production and electricity generation from coal.

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

Both carbon credits and carbon capture offer ways in which we can mitigate global warming and carbon emissions. However, they’re also two distinct strategies for climate action, that have different environmental consequences and therefore it is crucial to understand their differences.

The key difference between carbon credit and carbon capture lies in the fact that carbon credit encourage the transition to greener technology to keep emissions below an agreed-upon level. Carbon capture targets carbon that is already produced, but stops it from entering our atmosphere.

The following are key advantages from carbon credits.

Caps on carbon emissions can be set with a strictness
Unused credit may be traded with other companies
Incentivizes companies to invest in greener technologies.

The following are the major benefits of carbon capture:

Eliminates carbon before it gets into our atmosphere.
Could lead to carbon storage or carbon repurposing

Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture affect your Carbon Footprint

Being aware of the similarities and distinctions among carbon credits as well as carbon capture is crucial when making a decision of which option to choose.

How Do Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture Reduce Carbon Emissions

The goal of both carbon credits as well as carbon capture, is reduce carbon emissions in order to limit climate change.

Carbon credits: Credits are indirect reductions in emissions. Putting a cap on emissions and then lowering the cap over time reduces the carbon emission over time, preventing CO2 from getting into the atmosphere.

Carbon capture: Carbon capture refers to indirect reductions in emissions. Carbon is captured after combustion, but it is not allowed to enter our atmosphere.

If you are hearing the phrase “carbon credit” you should think of the word “allowance”. Carbon credits are the highest amount of CO2 that an entity is permitted to emit. The cap on CO2 emissions is gradually decreasing as time passes, requiring entities to emit less lower amounts of CO2 to remain within the limits of the limit. Businesses with high levels of emissions can continue to operate, but only at an increased cost.

When you hear “carbon capture” you should think about the term “trap”. Carbon capture allows to burn fossil fuels in current rates, but it also traps the emitted carbon before it enters our atmosphere. The carbon can be then kept or reused into different substances.

What Impact Do Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture have on Your Own Carbon Emissions

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

Carbon credits Credits for carbon do not directly decrease your carbon footprint.

Carbon capture is not a way to directly reduce your carbon footprint.

Carbon credits are not able to directly reduce your own carbon emissions. Limiting the amount of carbon emissions allowed is an indirect way to reduce emissions since companies can continue to emit for as long as they are paying the cost. Coupled with direct measures of emission reductions, like the reduction of individual energy consumption and carbon emissions, the carbon credit can improve their effectiveness.

Carbon credits don’t directly reduce your carbon emissions. Capturing carbon emissions in the wake of combustion of fossil fuels is an indirect method for reducing emissions. Knowing there is an option to erase the emissions we generate after causing them, it stifles any motivation for decreasing emissions of ourselves.

What Effect Do Carbon Credits and Carbon Capture have on global carbon Emissions

Each year, we release more than 36 billion tonnes of CO2 in the air. This is a major cause of climate change. This leads to sea-level and temperature rise, melting sea ice, changes in patterns of precipitation and acidification of the oceans. Carbon capture and credits are designed to cut the global carbon footprint and limit these negative environmental consequences.

Carbon credits: Carbon credits can help mitigate the problem, but they aren’t able to address the root of the issue, which is the reduction of CO2 emissions overall.

Carbon capture Carbon capture mitigates the problem, but it is not able to address the core issue of the reduction of CO2 emissions overall.

Carbon credits don’t have an impact on global carbon emissions. Though they might encourage companies to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions, the immediate consequence of reducing emissions through the cap and trade system is to improve the bottom line of a company. The primary goal of carbon permits isn’t to decrease greenhouse emissions or aid in sustainable energy initiatives, but to help companies make money.

Carbon capture doesn’t have any significant effect on carbon emissions worldwide. After it is caught, the subsequent step would be to store carbon. In 2021, overall the carbon-capturing and storage capacity was 40 million tonnes per year. To be able for CCS to significantly contribute to our fight against climate change the installed capacity should be at 5,600 million tonnes annually. There is still an immense gap between what is available and what’s required to reduce our emissions to Paris Climate Agreement target levels.

The COVID-19 outbreak caused the largest reduction in the amount of carbon emissions attributed to energy in the years since World War II, a reduction of 2 billion tonnes. However, emissions returned quickly by the end of 2020, with emissions that ended in December being 60 million tons higher than those in December 2019. This indicates that the earth is warming at an alarming rate and not enough is being done to implement clean energy methods.

What Are the Environmental Benefits in Carbon Credits as well as Carbon Capture

Using carbon credits, as well as the carbon-capture method to reduce our consumption of and dependence on fossil fuels (i.e. oil, coal, and natural gas) which can reduce the effects of global warming by limiting CO2 emissions. But they also come with diverse environmental benefits.

Carbon credits: Carbon credits help facilitate switching to greener energy sources and promote energy independence.

Carbon capture: Carbon capture helps in the fight against climate change.

Carbon credits are a way to encourage businesses to switch to greener energy sources which include wind, solar geothermal and hydro power. They do not emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides sulfur dioxides, or mercury into the atmosphere, soil, or water. They’re also known as contributing to the loss of the ozone layer, global sea-level rise, and the melting of our world’s glaciers.

Moving away from fossil fuels and towards green energy will also increase your the independence of energy. Being able to generate your electricity without the aid from foreign nations is a significant step to becoming more self-sufficient.

Carbon capture helps in the mitigation of climate change as it seeks to decrease carbon emissions that enter our atmosphere. Carbon levels in the air have risen due to human-caused emissions since the start of Industrial Revolution in 1750. Emissions grew steadily up to 5 billion tons per year in the mid-20th century before rising exponentially to over 35 billion tons annually at the end that century. The average global amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was approximately 220 parts per million (ppm) in 1750 but in the present, it’s over 400 ppm. Carbon capture could prevent these levels from increasing more.

How effective are Carbon Credits , Carbon Capture and Carbon Credits in reducing Carbon Emissions

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

Carbon credits: Unproper reporting and a lack of consistency in maximum GHG levels across countries limit carbon credit efficacy at a global scale.

Carbon capture: High initial costs and low incentives limit carbon capture effectiveness on a global scale.

Carbon credits have been criticized due to the fact that most industries do not have technology that tracks and estimates the amount of CO2 emissions. This allows companies to cheat on their emission reports, and claim they emit less CO2 than they actually are. Also, different countries have different standards and caps on CO2 emissions. In the event that the caps are set to high, then companies are not incentivized to reduce their emissions. But set the cap too low, and companies are forced to reduce emissions. In addition, the additional costs is passed on to consumers as a result.

Carbon capture can be described as a reactionary rather than proactive, way of dealing with emissions. In this manner, we can continue to use fossil fuels at a high rate. It is also expensive to implement, and there will be little incentive for it to be used until the cost of producing carbon rises sufficiently to force behavioral changes.

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

Carbon credits as well as carbon capture are vital to combat climate change since they both serve to lower carbon emission. They also reduce the impact of climate change. This results in 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 and carbon capture should not be relied on as a cure for climate change. Relying on credits solely 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 more of a reactive than proactive method of dealing with emissions.

In the long-term the direct methods for carbon footprint reduction are much more efficient. Reduced household, travel, and personal carbon footprint can help in the fight against climate change!