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Becoming carbon neutral while supporting sustainable development: a challenge for development and environment NGOs

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M. Grieg-Gran
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This paper, by the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), explores how organisations can make themselves carbon neutral through efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG). It details how organisations can monitor carbon emissions, including possible market schemes for carbon reduction strategies.The paper notes that there several increasingly credible web-based methods for estimating the emission of GHGs from the activities of individuals as well as organisations. These include the use of products such as paper and office equipment, energy in lighting and heating, transport and waste. However, by far the most important contribution to GHG emissions, for individuals and organisations that travel, comes from long haul travel by air. Thus the amount of air travel is sometimes used as a simple proxy for emissions of GHGs.The principal methods in reducing GHG emissions are listed as:persuading staff to travel by bikecar pooling by staff memberstaking part in fewer, better planned and placed meetings involving travelintroducing more tele/video conferencing instead of some face-to-face meetingstravelling by Eurostar by UK-based organisations, instead of flying to European destinations.The paper then explores issues surrounding off-setting non-reducible carbon; assessing how much to pay for carbon off-sets; and carbon offsets with sustainable development benefits.