Carbon offsets are a tool used by individuals, companies, and governments to reduce their carbon footprint. Each carbon offset represents one ton of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases, that has been prevented from entering the atmosphere. When someone buys a carbon offset, their payment is typically used to fund projects that reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions. These projects may involve generating renewable energy from sources like wind or flowing water, or implementing energy efficiency measures in buildings and transportation systems. While individuals can choose to purchase carbon offsets to mitigate the environmental impact of activities like air travel, some governments and industries are required to purchase them to meet international targets for greenhouse gas reduction. The effectiveness of carbon offsets in mitigating climate change is a topic of ongoing debate, with some critics arguing that they can be used as a way for individuals and companies to avoid taking meaningful steps to reduce their emissions.