Early actions

A number of regulatory regimes, including the Kyoto Protocol, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the Northeastern United States, Assembly Bill 32 in California and the Western Climate Initiative, have all emerged in response to the growing threat that climate change poses to the world. Moreover, increasing numbers of corporations, businesses and individuals are taking action to reduce their climate impact voluntarily.

The most important near-term actions that an organization or individual can take to reduce their impact on the climate are lowering their consumption of energy and increasing the efficiency of their energy use, ideally trying to derive none of their energy from fossil-fuel carbon (i.e. becoming 'carbon neutral'). Because so much of the US economy uses fossil-fuel carbon for energy, it is, however, nearly impossible to independently reduce carbon consumption to zero. One means of bridging the gap between carbon savings achieved through reduced consumption and increased energy efficiency, is through the use of 'greenhouse gas offsets' that are derived from greenhouse gas reduction projects. Such greenhouse gas offsets can provide a practical, cost-effective means of reducing greenhouse gas levels safely and sustainably.

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