Carbon Credits sold on TradeMe

The first public offering of certified Carbon Credits sold on TradeMe yesterday and today, a couple of parcels for households and one for a business. If this is pretty random stuff to you, I suspect you’re not alone – I’m still trying to grasp the ins and outs of it too…

Meridian Energy put the parcels of credits up for purchase, having come from their wind farm at Te Apiti, with the idea being that you can use the credits to offset your carbon dioxide emissions (calculate them at carboNZero).

So why buy carbon credits? For a business it might be good for marketing allowing a claim of “carbon neutral” (ie clean and green) to be made, whereas an individual would do so solely for ethical reasons. However, here’s where I would argue that you’re far better off making changes to your lifestyle or home/business that are more energy efficient or environmentally friendly first, rather that simply paying to offset bad practices. If and when you’ve got your emissions as low as practically possible (and I’m sure everyone can do more) then look at buying to offset the final amount if you must.

In this case the parcels of 20 credits (offsetting 20 tonnes of CO2) went for around $3,000 (view auctions here and here) and the parcel of 1000 credits went for a little over $19,000 (auction here). What happens next is up to the buyer – they can either retire the credits thus offsetting their emissions, or keep em and on sell them at a later date (presumably for a profit…)

Meridian claim they put the credits on TradeMe to get people talking about their carbon footprint and how to reduce it. Given this ramble, and combined auction page views of over 30,000, I guess they succeeded.


About Chris
A self confessed geek, meteorologist (aka weather forecaster), father & proud kiwi mainlander living, working & playing in Wellington, New Zealand.

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