Individual Carbon Footprint - June 2023
6th July 2023
Eynsford Green Team: Personal Carbon Footprint Monthly 2022 and 2023
My carbon footprint in June (0.29T/CO2e) was lower than May (0.40 T/CO2e) because May included a return trip in a petrol car to Scotland. June is the lowest month so far, my gas usage for heating was minimal. It is also lower than June 2022 (0.37) mainly because the electric car means grid electricity replaces petrol use for transport .
A question was raised this month about offsetting. Given that flights are such a large contributor to a personal carbon footprint, does offsetting the flight solve the problem?
Carbon offsetting aims to balance the negative CO2e impact of an activity (eg. a flight) with an equal but opposite, positive (eg. CO2 sequestration) activity such as tree planting. I am, though, skeptical about them…
Offset - pros
Conceptually a nice idea – offset bad activity with good activity
Offsetting - cons
Carbon offsetting does not work on the core issue of reducing CO2 emissions - we are already significantly in excess of the total environmental capacity of our planet – we have to actually reduce our impact not just balance it out
Offsetting can mean we don’t change our personal behaviour - we need to reduce our impact, offsetting lulls us into a false belief that our activity is balanced out and we can continue as now
Offsetting projects have different effectiveness rates and evidence is appearing that many of them are not delivering the CO2 reduction that is claimed, for instance tree planting must both be real, incremental and long term (ie the trees maintained for 50 years)
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