What is meant by CO₂ budget?

A CO₂ budget determines how much CO₂ a country or person is allowed to emit in order to achieve the global climate protection goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. In Germany, German citizens cause an average of 10 tonnes of CO₂ per capita and year. In terms of the climate protection target, however, only 1 tonne of CO₂ per person and year would be acceptable.

Our personal CO₂ balance depends on our lifestyle. However, even with the most sustainable lifestyle imaginable, we cause greenhouse gases. In addition to avoiding CO₂ emissions, voluntary contributions to climate protection projects at a value equal to the emissions calculated are thus an important instrument for mitigating climate change.

The budget approach shows how voluntary contributions to climate protection projects work as a bridging technology: When you make a climate protection contribution for a flight, it doesn’t mean these emissions then disappear. However, emissions are saved or avoided elsewhere to the same extent. The balance remains balanced and so does the budget.

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