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Car drivers can help offset their carbon ‘footprint’
Each of everyday actions consume energy and produce carbon dioxide emissions, for example when taking holiday flights, driving cars, heating or cooling homes
Carbon offsetting is one of many ways to help reducing CO2 emissions. With carbon offsetting, the emissions produced by a certain activity are compensated with equivalent carbon dioxide savings.
Carbon offsetting could be part of an integrated approach to reducing CO2 emissions. With regard to carbon from cars, such an integrated approach would also include the further improvement and implementation of CO2-cutting of car technology, a greater use of biofuels, changes in infrastructure to ensure traffic flow and reduce congestion, changes in behaviour (for example by ‘eco-driving’, see Eco driving, easy to apply, impressive results) and CO2 related taxation of cars and of alternative fuels.
Carbon offsets typically include renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects. As more and more people are concerned about global warming and seeking to reduce their climate impact, carbon offsets, along with personal carbon reductions, are seen as providing an important solution to global warming.
The first step is to measure the carbon ‘footprint’. This can be done easily at many websites offering real time calculators: one example is http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.html
The second step involves buying ‘carbon offset’ credits from emission reduction projects. Offset providing is a fast-growing business activity and operators can be found through the many carbon offset directories carried on the internet. They offer a wide range of projects enabling the prevention and/or removal of an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide elsewhere in the World.
Projects vary from specialising in activities such as tree planting (trees remove carbon dioxide and store it as carbon) to contributing to projects developing solar heating as a replacement for kerosene and charcoal burning in developing countries. Another example of a developing country project is helping farmers to produce oil-bearing seeds to produce biodiesel. Renewable and energy conservation offsets are also very popular.
Offsets depend on valid accounting and certification systems for their credibility. Accounting systems address such questions as what emissions would occur in the absence of a proposed project? Would the project occur anyway, without the investment raised by selling carbon offset credits? Are some benefits of the reductions reversible?
More information on an integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from cars can be found at Car industry supports reducing CO2 emissions
Market & Economy
- Diesel Emissions Conference, & Adblue Forum 2013 Europe, 18-20 June 2013. ACEA members get a 20% discount on the registration fee.
Recent and Past Events
- ACEA Annual Transport Policy Event 2012: How Can Policy Reflect Changing Transport Demands? 6 December 2012,Brussels. Click here for more...
- Our Future Mobility Now "Innovation for Europe, Skills for the Future" Roundtable 10 October 2012. Click here for more...