• Carbon,  Climate change,  Offsetting

    Carbon offsetting a get out of jail card?

    The issues of carbon pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change are moving up the political agenda. The children’s strikes, protests by Extinction Rebellion and increasing government action will make the burning of fossil fuels more expensive. There are challenges in all sectors of travel and tourism but the elephant in the room is aviation. Airlines emit 80% of our industry’s greenhouse gasses and air travel is growing at 5% per year. As other industries reduce their carbon emissions aviation will account for ever-larger shares of global emissions. More   Aviation is the Achilles’ heel of the sector. Brian Summers writing is Skift has commented on the KLM initiative: “Take KLM, the…

  • aviation,  Carbon,  Climate change

    No real progress at ICAO on reducing carbon emissions

    At the close of the 38th session of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Friday the ICAO States committed the organisation to develop a global market-based measure (MBM) to limit the growth of international aviation emissions. The key paragraph is 5 on page 13: “Resolves that States and relevant organizations will work through ICAO to achieve a global annual average fuel efficiency improvement of 2 per cent until 2020 and an aspirational global fuel efficiency improvement rate of 2 per cent per annum from 2021 to 2050, calculated on the basis of volume of fuel used per revenue tonne kilometre performed”. This commitment is purely aspirational and voluntary Paragraph 5…

  • Carbon,  Climate change,  IPCC,  Uncategorized

    IPCC, Clmate Change Update

    There is overwhelming evidence that the average temperature of the earth is rising and we have understood the contribution of greenhouse gases to that process for 150 years. Given the potentially, and increasingly likely, disastrous consequences the precautionary principle requires that we take action now to reduce the burning of fossil fuels. The Summary for Policymaker,   Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report is now available In each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. “Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water…

  • Carbon,  Climate change,  Perfect storm,  Uncategorized,  Water

    Climate change is causing human conflict already – the problem is now in Syria.

    We rarely hear  progressive opinion from the USA. That is not to say that it does not exist there. William R Polk served on the State Department’s Policy Planning staff during the Kennedy years. In a thought provoking piece about the Syrian chemical attack issue Polk explains why Syria has entered a crisis – and it is to do with water. Climate change produced drought, hunger and displacement – and civil war. “Syria has been convulsed by civil war since climate change came to Syria with a vengeance. Drought devastated the country from 2006 to 2011.  Rainfall in most of the country fell below eight inches (20 cm) a year, the…

  • aviation,  Carbon,  Climate change,  Uncategorized

    Emissions Trading isn't working and may be dangerous

    While we wait to hear in October whether the EU will be extending emissions trading to international aviation it is worth reflecting that the cost of carbon pollution  is very low. Not much of an incentive. On the carbon offsetting website Terrapass you can buy a metric tonne for $13.12 EU Allowances (EUAs are trading at around €5.5 as I write this For the background on the EU ETS As they argue “By putting a price on carbon and thereby giving a financial value to each tonne of emissions saved, the EU ETS has placed climate change on the agenda of company boards and their financial departments across Europe. A…

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