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As a response to global climate change

and its impact on consumer behavior, manufacturers, corporations, government entities and even individuals are looking to become “carbon neutral”. They are taking actions to reduce atmospheric carbon emissions in proportion to those generated by their activities. This is generally accomplished in two ways: lowering carbon emissions by lowering consumption and promoting activities that aid the natural process of carbon reduction such as preserving wilderness areas.
The concept of

carbon offset credits

is based on trading carbon emissions as a commodity. Under these programs an entity that produces emissions beyond an allotted level, must purchase emissions credits to offset their activity from an entity that either produces less than their allotted amount, or promotes activity that results in emission reduction. The incentives are financially based, rewarding those who lower or reduce emissions, while penalizing those who exceed their quotas.