Airline Offsets are not enough!

Air travel for recreational purposes is a large source of GHG emissions.  Air travelers can purchase offsets as part of the booking and paying for a specific flight. This way they can counter their share of the emissions generated during the trip.  The air line relies upon the analysis of a third party consultant to … Read more…

Air Travel and GHG Emissions

Air Travel and GHG Emissions

Will grandparents cut back on air travel to reduce GHG emissions? We received a question about air travel, a subject of commentary in several of our blogs. The specific question was: “How many grandparents in 4RG have decided to not fly in order to preserve climate stability?” The questioner referred to his older brother (63) who is now a … Read more…

Setting a Price on Carbon

Setting a Price on Carbon

How should a Canadian Government set a price for carbon? By legislation, such as a carbon tax? Or by a market based system, such as cap-and-trade ?

In the 2008 Federal Election a majority of Canadians rejected a carbon tax proposed by the Liberal Party.  After this defeat, Jim Prentice, then the Federal Minister of Environment, announced that a carbon market was an important building block in the Conservative Government’s climate change plan.

The market was based on a a cap-and-trade system.   The system would limit emissions of greenhouse gases but emitters would be able exceed the limits by purchasing offset credits to compensate for their excess emissions.  These rules were never finalized and the proposal was effectively dropped.

In October 2010 Prentice resigned from the Government and joined the CIBC.  His departure was never explained.

Read more…

Carbon Offsets

Approximately 18 months ago 4RG reviewed web-based carbon offsets for airline passengers.  These offsets enable a passenger to “purchase” financial assistance for projects to reduce GreenHouse gas emissions equivalent to each passengers’s share of carbon emissions from the aircraft during the trip. In this way a passenger’s air flight has a net zero carbon footprint.

As we are about to leave on another international air trip (the Far East via Bombay) an update on carbon offsets is timely.

Since May 2007 the Air Canada Website has a page that allows purchase of carbon offsets.   As of September 2010 Air Canada passengers had paid $263, 042 for these offsets, or nearly $90,000 per year.  Approximately three years later the payments had risen to $306,866, an increase of approximately $13,000 per year.  Clearly offsets are declining in popularity.

Read more…