Offset with the United Nations
Clear offsets your emissions by buying and retiring certificates called Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs). So what is a CER you might ask? A CER is a certificate which is issued every time the United Nations prevents one tonne of CO2 equivalent being emitted through carbon projects registered with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). CDM Projects include for example replacing coal fired electricity with clean technology, or methane capture from landfill sites.
The CDM ensures that each carbon project would not have happened anyway (additionality), and independently establishes a baseline estimating the future emissions in the absence of each project (more info). Once a project is registered and implemented, the CDM issues just enough CERs to cover the monitored difference between the baseline and the actual emissions.
Information on one of the projects that Clear is using to offset through the United Nations can be found here.
When you offset your carbon footprint with Clear, we buy the correct number of CERs on your behalf and then retire them through the UK Emissions Registry to make sure they aren't used again. So in essence, your contribution makes sure that less greenhouse gas gets pumped into the atmosphere somewhere else, which offsets a specific proportion of your carbon footprint.
We buy CERs in bulk to get a good price, and pass that discount on to our customers. This process guarantees that the carbon offset you pay for is both genuine and cost-effective.
CERs are the method of offsetting proposed by the UK Government for its Code of Best Conduct for voluntary carbon offset, but not all carbon offset providers offer the same service. In fact the majority fail to regulate their emission reducing projects to the standards required by the United Nations. This has led to many instances where people have bought carbon offsets only to find out later that they weren't genuine.