Global Trade Not Paying for its Damages

The controversial trade agreement, NAFTA, is now being renegotiated at the insistence of President Trump.  Everything seems to be on the table but there’s one big thing that isn’t and should be. It’s that trade itself, which necessitates the transport of goods which spews out carbon emissions, has an ecological footprint. Trade agreements note that … Read more

Curbing “Wild West” emissions!

In January 2011 we commented on the need to reduce GHG emissions from air travel.  These emissions have increased – in part due to the increasing popularity of air travel among citizens of the developed nations and in part because the international aviation industry did little except talk about reducing emissions. In 2008 the European … Read more

The freedom to hop on a plane

Transportation is one of the largest contributors to GHG emissions, ranking second after the generation of electricity. Airlines are projected to account for about 2 percent of global emissions — about the same as Germany. Yet the global air transport industry, airlines and manufacturers, is free from any laws that would limit emissions or penalize … Read more

Air Transport GHG Emissions

Barbara Falby, a member of the 4RG Steering Committee, attended a panel discussion sponsored by the TransformTO initiative on Transportation and Climate Change.  In the question period that followed she inquired why the panel had not referred to aviation CO2 emissions. The response:  previous research showed that aviation emissions were too low to be of … Read more

The “World Class” buzz word!

We get Press Releases from the Canadian Government relating to the environment.  These Releases use certain stock words or phrases comparing Canada’s policies and laws against the world community.

A recent Press Release dated May 14 from Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, has the title: Minister Rickford Announces Latest Actions to Enhance Canada’s World-Class Pipeline Safety System. The Press Release is linked to a “backgrounder” with the title “World Class Pipeline Safety”.

Read moreThe “World Class” buzz word!

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 moreCarbon Offsets

Green v. Ungreen

If this were a boxing match the Referee would announce: “In that corner, smoking a cigar and clutching a money bag, is the overweight representative of corporate greed, North America. In the other corner, wearing green tights and matching singlet, with a cap sporting green feathers, is the representative of environmental sanity, the European Union. … Read more