Carbon Offset

Carbon Offset: An industry heading for crisis

September 24th, 2019

When you book a flight nowadays, you are often given the option to offset your carbon. And many of us do.

But what does this mean? We can all feel a little better – as we sit at 10,000 metres eating a disgusting sandwich – that we are ‘doing our bit to save the planet.’

Greta would be pleased…or would she?

I’d never really thought about how offset worked until the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry and Meg to you, mate) started taking private jets – sometimes courtesy of the Rocket-man (don’t ask how much carbon a Rocket-man uses!) – Sir Elton John.

Being a generous soul, he took a few trips, and said it was okay because he had offset the carbon. Well, that’s all right then! Or is it?

It turns out that the offset cost was less than $500 dollars; a snip for man who famously spent £10,000 a month on flowers.

The questions started: How does this offset his business work?

We are all worried about the planet to the point where it is almost a turn-off. Please do not stop reading…

The offset industry — and it is an industry — started out with tree planting schemes to absorb CO2. This is still on the go, but is less credible, as many of the forests would only mature in many decades time.  Some didn’t even get planted or were in politically unstable countries.

Now, the focus is on carbon reduction technologies, such as more efficient wood-burning stoves to help poorer people reduce their emissions. As if poor people were the main producers of carbon!

What no one in the carbon offset business has figured out is to how to capture flatulence from cows and sheep – the really big producers!

Have a good week.

Tom

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