Like for Like

The term “like-for-like” refers to balancing emissions sources with carbon sinks (offsets) that match in terms of their warming impact, timescale (duration), and permanence of the carbon storage. For instance, fossil carbon can remain stable for millennia if left unextracted and unburned. Therefore, mitigation measures aimed at neutralizing these emissions should provide similar long-term storage. By contrast, CO2 emissions released from biological sources like forests and soils is generally shorter-lived and can be balanced with offsets that offer similar shorter duration storage. However, it’s crucial to consider the risks of carbon stock reversals. These can stem from human activities such as logging, natural occurrences such as disease and disasters, or the effects of climate change, including warming. Any of these factors can undermine the integrity of these carbon sinks, resulting in premature release of stored carbon.

(Source: Race to Zero)


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