Air Travel and GHG Emissions

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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

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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.

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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.

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Environmental Limits to Growth

Toronto-Dominion Bank reports that “Western Canada’s oil industry faces a serious challenge to its long-term growth. . .  Production growth will become constrained unless new pipeline capacity is built to access new markets. . . .  The flood of new shale oil supplies coming on stream in the United States, combined with inadequate pipeline capacity … Read more…

REDD: an important acronym in the Climate Change world.

When I first stumbled across the acronym REDD I did not know what it stood for.    Thanks to a web search I can share with readers that REDD stands for ~~“Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN)” There are two on-going activities that seriously undermine our ability to control climate change.  One – familiar … Read more…