The Concept of Carbon Neutrality in relation to the Energy Hierarchy.
Updated: May 14, 2020
Being a sustainable energy engineer and environmental activist. It feels great to see all of these companies coming forward and committing to ambitious carbon neutrality targets. Some might be serious and simply want to eliminate carbon emissions altogether but still, most of the companies are balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal (often through carbon offsetting).
Honestly speaking, I am very skeptical about the true impact of carbon offsetting, because not every company is trying hard to look for high-environmental-integrity offsets (meaning offsets which are permanent, avoiding leakage, without any double-counting problem associated with them) most of the companies just want cheap carbon pricing through carbon offsetting.
Also, everyone seems to be rushing towards carbon offsetting without optimizing other potential opportunities to reduce the emissions which shows we don't have all the answers yet as to what carbon neutrality means in relation to the energy hierarchy. Fundamentally they should utilize the energy hierarchy – in other words seeking emissions reductions in this order: reduction in energy demand, energy efficiency, renewables (onsite), renewables (offsite), offsetting.