A carbon offset scheme in Guernsey is encouraging islanders to pay to counteract their carbon footprint.

The project, which has been set up by local environmental and social standards business, ESI Monitor, has been backed by the island's Lieutenant-Governor.

It is the first of its kind in the Channel Islands.

The company says the aim of the initiative is to raise £100,000 for local biodiversity projects.

By establishing this scheme, based locally and using certified projects, Carbon Offset Plus will offset 100% of a given activity and additionally provide grants to biodiversity in the islands, giving Channel Islanders the peace of mind they need that they are helping the environment at the point of pollution and further afield. We also felt it was important for the scheme to directly benefit our local environment, which is why we will use half of the funds to support local conservation schemes.

Fred Betley, ESI Monitor Sustainability Advisor

ESI Monitor says it hopes funding of local biodiversity projects could exceed £250,000 a year, but is encouraging islanders to embrace the scheme to help this happen.

Islanders who choose to take part in the project will have to input how many miles they drive annually and what type of car they have online.

Their carbon will then be calculated and islanders will pay to offset it. The money will be split between ‘green’ projects both worldwide and in Guernsey.

The money will be split between ‘green’ projects in Guernsey. Credit: ESI Monitor

The Lieutenant-Governor has trialled the scheme by offsetting emissions from Government House road vehicles and says he is "delighted to support a local initiative".

We are blessed with a beautiful natural environment here in the Bailiwick, so I’m pleased to be able to do something that directly helps to protect it for future generations. I’m also delighted to support a local initiative that is working to internationally recognised standards to help build Guernsey’s reputation as an environmentally responsible jurisdiction.

Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder, Guernsey's Lieutenant-Governor
Harmful emissions include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, water vapour, and nitrous oxide. Credit: ESI Monitor

ESI Monitor says normal carbon offsetting schemes work by calculating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by things like cars, motorbikes and boats and spending money to counteract the amount of CO2e being produced, or stop it being emitted.

Harmful emissions include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, water vapour, and nitrous oxide.

These are all ‘natural’ gases, but due to human activity they are being emitted at extremely unnatural rates. These are commonly calculated as ‘CO2e’, or carbon dioxide and equivalents.