FAQ

Climate change & climate protection

What is climate change?

Climate change represents the change in the climate of the earth. These changes of the natural balance have a significant impact on humans and nature. The term climate change (including climate change) alone does not indicate whether the climate warms or cools.

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What are the consequences of climate change?

Climate change is affecting the temperature balance of the earth and has extensive effects on people and the environment. It is not possible to ascribe individual weather events to the current climate change, but it can be systematically proven that climate change increases the likelihood of extreme weather events.

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Is the climate change caused by humans?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is responsible for evaluating the risks of human-caused climate change and gathering prevention and adjustment strategies. It was established by the United Nations Environmental Organisation (UNEO) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Based on the IPCC’s most recent report from 2013 and wide-ranging scientific analyses, there is a 95% likelihood that global warming in the last 50 years is the result of human activities.

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What are greenhouse gases?

Greenhouse gases are the gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that produce the greenhouse effect. Most greenhouse gases can have either a natural or a man-made source.

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What is the greenhouse effect?

The greenhouse effect is basically a natural process that has a significant impact on the temperature on Earth. However, since the beginning of industrialisation, the presence of long-lasting greenhouse gases has been increasing dramatically.

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What is CO2 and what are the primary sources?

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is a colourless and odourless gas. It is a natural component of our air and makes up part of the carbon cycle.

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What are CO2 equivalents?

A CO2 equivalent (CO2e) is a unit of measurement that is used to standardise the climate effects of various greenhouse gases.

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Who produces CO2 emissions?

Around 84% of all human-caused CO2 emissions are created in electricity and heat production, agriculture, industry and transport.

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What does sustainability mean?

The ecological definition of sustainability originated with the Brundtland Report in 1987, which describes sustainable development as a kind of development that satisfies the needs of the present without adversely affecting the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs.

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What are climate protection projects?

Climate protection projects support the use of renewable energy, realise energy efficiency measures or reduce methane emissions. This can happen through energy efficiency, increased usage of renewable energy and filtering of greenhouse gases from factories and production sites, as well as through reforestation and agricultural measures.

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Which standards do the myclimate climate protection projects meet?

myclimate applies only the strictest independent quality standards (CDM, Gold Standard and Plan Vivo) in choosing and designing its climate protection projects.

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What can we do in order to reduce climate change?

Everyone can make a contribution to climate protection! Based on the motto “avoid, reduce and offset”, everyone can take responsibility for his or her own footprint. The most common everyday causes of harmful emissions are travel with cars or aeroplanes and infrastructural elements such as heating and energy consumption.

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Emissions & footprint

What is an ecological footprint?

The ecological footprint was developed by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees in the mid-1990s and it has since been implemented as an indicator for sustainability. It represents the demands made on the ecosystem and natural resources.

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What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint represents the amount of CO2 emissions that are created by a certain activity during a set period of time.

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How do I calculate my carbon footprint?

All relevant CO2 sources should be assessed together in order to do an accurate calculation.

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What is climate neutrality?

Activities are climate-neutral or CO2-neutral if they do not pollute the air, i.e. not emit greenhouse gases.

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What is the emissions trading?

In Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, national and regional emissions trading systems have been introduced to regulate industries that are particularly energy-intensive and emissions-intensive through a market mechanism. Emissions trading employs a marketplace to reduce emissions of harmful gases, which creates motivation for investing in climate-friendly technologies.

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Compensation

What is carbon offsetting?

CO2 emissions that are released into the air at one place are reduced at another place. This process is called compensation.

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What are CO2 certificates?

CO2 certificates represent the amount of emissions that are compensated for. A certificate corresponds to one ton of greenhouse gases.

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Why should I compensate?

True to myclimate’s motto “do your best, offset the rest”, it’s best to avoid creating CO2 emissions in the first place. However, due to the fact that the most important thing for the climate is to reduce the amount of emissions worldwide, unavoidable emissions can also be offset.

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How does my compensation contribute to climate protection?

The myclimate climate protection projects reduce emissions by replacing fossil energy sources with renewable energy or by promoting energy-efficient technologies. High-quality climate protection projects also contribute to social, ecological and economic development in their respective regions.

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Isn’t compensation just something to help me have a clear conscience?

Compensation achieves more than a clear conscience; by supporting a high-quality climate protection project, you take effective action for the climate and make a valuable contribution to the environment.

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How much of my compensation will go to the projects?

Carbon offsetting only has an impact when compensation payments are actually directed straight to climate protection projects. As a non-profit foundation, myclimate guarantees that at least 80 percent of compensation payments will be used directly in climate protection projects. The foundation requires the remaining amount (maximum 20 percent) to cover administration and internal costs.

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Can I be sure that my money really reduces the promised amount of CO2?

myclimate invests exclusively in projects that deliver measurable and long-term success. Only emissions reductions that have actually been realised and can be proven over a longer contract term of 7 to 14 years are counted in energy projects. Compensation payments are normally paid out to the supported projects once reductions are realised. The contribution amount depends on the volume of the project’s greenhouse gas reduction. Forestry projects are slightly different because they have a longer timeline of 30 to 50 years.

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Does myclimate make a profit from selling carbon offsetting?

No, myclimate is a non-profit organisation and, as a foundation, it uses all funds for the goal of protecting the climate.

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Can I deduct my donation/compensation from my taxes?

myclimate and myclimate Germany are charitable foundations and are therefore tax-exempt in Switzerland and Germany. All compensation payments and donations to myclimate are tax-deductible.

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