FAQ

Climate change & climate protection

What does climate change mean?

The global climate has always shown fluctuations. Since the beginning of industrialisation, however, the composition of the atmosphere has changed due to the increased emission of greenhouse gases by humans. This increases the natural greenhouse effect and leads to global warming. This noticeable change in the climate has a significant impact on humans and nature.

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What are the effects of climate change and global warming?

Climate change destabilises the Earth’s temperature equilibrium and has far-reaching effects on human beings and the environment. During the course of global warming, the energy balance and thus the temperature of the earth change, due to the increased concentration of greenhouse gases, which has a significant impact on humans and the environment.

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Is the climate change caused by humans?

The global warming of the last 50 years is, with over 95% probability, due to 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).

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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 an anthropogenic (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 where does it come from?

Carbon dioxide (CO₂) is a colourless and odourless gas that 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?

Around 84% of all anthropogenic (man-made) CO₂ emissions are created in electricity and heat production, agriculture, industry and transport.

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What is sustainability?

The ecological definition of sustainability originated with the Brundtland Report in 1987, which describes sustainable development as one that satisfies the needs of the present without adversely affecting the conditions for future generations.

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What are climate offset projects?

Climate offset projects support the use of renewable energy, realise energy efficiency measures or reduce methane emissions. This can be achieved through technological advances, the filtering of greenhouse gases from power plants and production facilities, but also through afforestation and other suitable measures in agriculture.

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What standards do our climate offset projects meet?

myclimate applies only the strictest independent quality standards such as CDM, Gold Standard and Plan Vivo when choosing and designing its climate offset projects.

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What meaningful measures and solutions are available for counteracting climate change?

Everyone can make a contribution to climate protection! In line with the motto "Avoid, reduce and compensate", we can take responsibility for our own ecological footprints, i.e. for our CO₂ emissions. The most common everyday causes of harmful emissions are travel with cars or aeroplanes, heating and electricity usage and our consumption behaviour.

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What is global warming?

"Global warming" means that the average temperature everywhere on earth increases for a longer period of time. However, global warming does not necessarily mean that this happens evenly all over the world. Some parts of the earth may warm up more, others more slowly, and fluctuations cannot be ruled out.

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What ist meant by Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are common, universal goals for member states of the United Nations to transform the world into a fairer, more prosperous and peaceful society until 2030. They were adopted in September 2015 as successors to the Millennium Goals.

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What is the climate protection plan 2050?

The Climate Protection Plan 2050 was adopted by the Federal Government in 2016. With this plan, Germany, as one of the world's most important industrialised countries, is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95 % by 2050 compared to 1990 and thus contribute its share to meeting the global target of the Paris Agreement. Within the plan, separate medium-term reduction targets are planned for the respective sectors (e.g. transport, energy or industry).

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What happens at a climate conference?

At a climate conference, politicians from many different countries come together to work out solutions and reach agreements to limit the increase in global warming. In 1992, the first climate conference took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the participation of the member states of the United Nations.

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Carbon-​Offset

What are CO₂ certificates?

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

 

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Why should I offset my emissions?

Climate change caused by humans is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. True to myclimate’s motto “do your best, offset the rest”, it’s best to avoid creating CO₂emissions 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 offsetting 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 offsetting just something to help me have a clear conscience?

Offsetting 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 offsetting will go to the projects?

CO₂ offsetting only achieves something if the payments are actually used directly for climate protection projects. As a non-profit foundation, myclimate guarantees that at least 80 percent of offsetting 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. Offsetting 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/offsetting from my taxes?

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

 

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What is the CO2 tax?

The CO₂ tax is also known as the CO₂ price or CO₂ pricing and, like any other tax, is set individually by a state. In Sweden, the CO₂ tax has been in place since 1991 and currently stands at 114 euros per tonne of CO₂ emitted. In Switzerland, Denmark, Finland and Slovenia, a CO₂ tax has also been standard for many years. In Germany, the CO₂ tax will be introduced from 2021 with an introductory price of 25 euros and will increase gradually. By taxing CO₂ emissions, the countries are pursuing the goal of making CO₂ emissions more expensive in order to achieve a reduction in CO₂ emissions.

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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 is acceptable.

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What makes myclimate's CO2 calculators unique?

On the myclimate website, users have seven CO2 emission calculators for different activities at their disposal. Not only can the emissions from air travel, car journeys and cruise trips be calculated and offset, but users can also determine their own CO2 footprint, calculate the corporate carbon footprint of companies, calculate events and draw up the CO2 balance of their own household. In addition, it is possible to support carbon offset projects and the valuable educational programmes of myclimate with free donations or to directly select a project of your choice for support.

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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 climate neutrality?

Activities are climate-neutral or CO₂ neutral if they do not put a strain on the climate, i.e. if they do not create greenhouse gases.

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What is meant by emissions trading?

Emissions trading is one of the Kyoto mechanisms and aims to regulate and limit the emissions of energy-intensive factories or companies in a market-based and sustainable manner. It was introduced in the European Union in January 2005. The aim is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and at the same time to steer towards climate-friendly technologies in order to protect the climate. A fundamental distinction is made between the mandatory emissions trading market and the voluntary emissions trading market.

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What is meant by flight shame?

In connection with the topics of climate change and climate protection, there is also repeated talk of "flight shame". The term "flight shame" refers to the feeling of air travellers who are aware of the climate-damaging consequences of their journey, but still fly. Thus, they feel ashamed of their flight. At the same time, we also talk about the trend to consciously decide against air travel in order to actively reduce one's personal CO₂ footprint.

 

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