In 2002 ResponsibleTravel.com was one of the first companies to adopt carbon offsetting and it is now one of the first to abandon the approach. Recognizing that flying is currently one of the fastest growing sources of CO2 emissions ResponsibleTravel.com has mounted a campaign to say no to carbon offsetting and to say yes to carbon reduction.
Justin Francis of ResponsibleTravel.com is reported in The Independent today. He said that he had decided to abandon offsets because he believes they have become ?a medieval pardon that allows people to continue polluting?. He went on
“Carbon offsetting is an ingenious way to avoid genuinely reducing your carbon emissions,” he said yesterday. “It's a very attractive idea ? that you can go on living exactly as you did before when there's a magic pill or medieval pardon out there that allows people to continue polluting.”
As the makers of the excellent film clip Cheat Neutral made clear you cannot offset the damage you do the environment by flying by paying someone else to reduce their carbon emissions. If you have not watched the movie, watch it now. It will make you smile.
As ResponsibleTravel.com say on their site ?Offsetting flights has too often been seen as an opportunity to go on flying the same amount or more.? ResponsibleTravel.com’s message is clear fly less, make the essential life style changes and when we do fly make it count by choosing a holiday which will have a positive impact in the destination.
ResponsibleTravel.com have launched a range of lower carbon travel experiences, encouraging the use of the train and public transport and reminding us that there is much to be enjoyed and experienced closer to home with 200 UK holiday ideas.
Whilst as individuals we can make a difference we should not ignore the scale of the problem we need national and international action to slow global warming –
The Independent quotes some of the offers available on offsets, it is surely a matter of considerable concern that the amount of carbon emitted varies so much and the cost too.. The British government’s official Shadow Price of Carbon is ?28 per tonne Clearly offsetting provides a cheaper deal, but that is not covering the real cost of the damage caused by the carbon emitted which using the DFRA figure is significantly higher.
The examples reported by The Independent
What do some of the major offset companies charge for offsetting a return flight from London to Sydney for two people?
*Climate Care: 11.23 tonnes of CO2 which costs ?98.03 to offset.
*Carbon Clear: 2.82 tonnes of CO2 which costs ?21.15 to offset
*The Carbon Neutral Company: 6.1 tonnes of CO2 which costs between ?52 and ?122 to offset depending on which project you choose
*Offset Carbon: 8 tonnes of CO2 at ?76