A really ingenious suggestion at bowblog has made me think once more about cost-offsetting and climate change. The idea would be to put a small levy on purchases made using eBay to account for the distance that goods would have to be shipped. Read the post here. It has made me feel guily once more about all my air travel!
At the end of this year, I am going to make a donation using the Guardian / Climate Care website to offset the costs to the environment of all the flights that I have been making this past year. The idea is that a donation is made that will pay for measures that will reduce as much carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the amount emitted by the one passenger’s share of the plane’s emissions. See this from Wikipedia for more details. The EU is in the meantime coming up with ideas to include emissions from planes in the EU-ETS – have a look at this from Euractiv.
Quite rightly, many people are sceptical about cost offsetting – in the end fossil fuels are still being burnt and gases released. But it might just be a useful solution in the short- to medium-term until alternative means of power become available. And if we can apply this idea to plane flights, why not aim to do the same for other areas of life like good transport?
One idea is fusion power, finally being seriously tested with the development of ITER. We could then use the electricity generated from this to create pure hydrogen to power our cars, and presumably other transport too…
But for the moment, visit the Guardian / Cllimate Care website and offset all the costs of your flights!