How to offset your carbon footprint when travellingby Rebecca Macfie
Offsetting schemes charge an amount based on the volume of emissions generated by a flight. That money helps to finance schemes that absorb emissions from the atmosphere (such as native-forest regeneration), or support a shift away from fossil fuels (such as wind-farm development).
Not all offsetting schemes are created equal, however. Some take into account the full range of climate effects caused by aircraft (including greenhouse gases, contrails and water vapour); others cover only CO2 emissions.
In the New Zealand market, Enviro-Mark Solutions’ travel calculator is based on a “radiative forcing index”, which includes the full suite of impacts and is recommended by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Another scheme, Ekos, allows offset buyers to choose from two options – one includes CO2, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, and the other includes those three gases but also factors in the radiative forcing index (which roughly doubles the price). Air New Zealand’s scheme takes into account only CO2 emissions. Jetstar’s scheme takes into account CO2 and five other greenhouse gases.
Enviro-Mark’s offsets fund projects including forests overseen by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Permanent Forest Sink Initiative, as well as a wind farm in China, a solar-energy plant in Mexico, and a low-emission cooking stove project in China.
Ekos is a registered charity founded by forestry conservation expert Sean Weaver. Offsets from the scheme fund indigenous rainforest projects in Southland, Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.
Air New Zealand offsets fund a variety of native forestry projects run by the Native Forest Restoration Trust.
Jetstar offsets fund a portfolio of projects including rainforest protection in Papua New Guinea, wilderness protection in Tasmania, a biomass project in Thailand and wildfire prevention in Western Australia.
This article was first published in the November 4, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.
The Employment Relations Act is very clear about what constitutes sexual harassment in New Zealand.Read more
Few people could be better suited than Louise Nicholson to deal with a brain tumour diagnosis.Read more
A twilight tour in Waipoua Forest highlights the majesty, and the fragility, of our mighty kauri.Read more
It's often said that diet is the most important cause of gout, but for most people changing it won't lower uric acid levels enough to stop the pain.Read more
Wellington teenager McKenzie Jennings-Gruar is part of a new-generation media pack on the music festival circuit.Read more
It’s time the tornado of Seven Sharp and Anika Moa Unleashed was set free on prime time.Read more