Carbon avoidance projects contribute to climate action by preventing carbon that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere. This means they reduce the amount of carbon emitted, but do not remove the carbon already in the atmosphere.
In the case of burning fossil fuels, the most effective way to capture emissions is to intercept them at locations where they are released into the atmosphere, such as industrial factories with carbon-intense operations. Avoidance projects can capture these emissions on site, store them, and in some instances ‘utilise’ them by processing the gases into new and useful materials.
Another type of avoidance project includes protecting current carbon sinks like forests or peatlands and paying local communities to become stewards of the forests, rather than cutting them down to create agricultural land.