Let us say that a certain amount of CO2 is emitted in some part of the world. At the same time, a climate protection project elsewhere seeks to avoid at least this volume of emissions – in other words, it compensates for it. This means that the total amount of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions is not reduced – rather, the emitted gases are “offset”, a process also known as “carbon offsetting”.
This principle is based on the notion that the concentration of climate-changing gases in the atmosphere is the decisive factor, regardless of where they were emitted. This sets climate change apart from other, more local environmental problems such as water and land pollution.