How much for a tonne of carbon?

This is my third post on how to carbon offset a trip from Brussels to Stockholm. In the first one I dealt with how much carbon to offset and in the second which type of offsetting to do. This post explores how much to pay for offsetting. So, once I figured out the standards part and what type of offsetting they did – the next challenge came up – what should be the price for a tonne of carbon?  This is not an easy question to answer as the market is very new, and there aren’t really any set standards on how to price carbon. What you can generally see is that CER projects will be more expensive than the VER projects (for explanation read my earlier post), as CER is priced through a market based system whereas VERs can allow their price to be set much more idependantly. 

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From the 10 services I compared the price of offsetting a tonne of carbon varied from €6 (www.carbonfund.org) to €27 (www.carbonpassport.comwww.clear-offset.com). This would add between €3.4 and €13.86 euros to my trip between Brussels and Stockholm

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PointCarbon aggregates the prices from traders daily and has currently a posted price of  €22.95, which can be used as a guidance for what the price of a tonne of carbon offset through CER projects should be. The McKinsey Quarterly also has an often-cited report containing estimated costs for abating carbon through various means. Their study shows that to reach our climate goals the price should rather be somewhere around €40 per tonne.  For myself, as one of my goals is to start pricing carbon into my life I decided that I would want to go for something that is slightly higher than the average, pricing at least around €15-€30 with the end goal of reaching €20-€30 per tonne (as a side note: a price of €30 would mean a total of €266 euro per year for me to be “carbon neutral” according to Direct Govs carbon calculator). For my final spreadsheet comparing the providers, click here.

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