The UN is purchasing offsets for the 461 tons of greenhouse gases associated with meetings in New York. The offsets will helps to construct a waste biomass-to-energy plant in India.
Worldwide greenhouse gas emissions have fallen this year due to the global recession. In the US, emissions are projected to drop 6% this year, according to the New York Times. Interestingly, because many countries will use 2005 as their baseline reporting year, the recession may help many countries reach their targets, even though the structure of the economy and energy production systems have remained relatively unchanged. If 2008 were used as the baseline year instead, any recovery would also be counted as a growth in emissions.
A news story today in the Santa Cruz Sentinel points to a carbon reduction by Santa Cruzans since 1996. While at a glance it is a fair assessment, remember true carbon footprints look at the full costs of all consumable items and purchases: computers, furniture, food, etc. This is a boundary problem, and a data collection problem. While its fair to say that Santa Cruzans use less carbon in procuring energy, water, and heat, I would suggest that a deeper analysis would show that this might be offset by a rise in consumption. So the claim that Santa Cruz has shrunk its carbon footprint might be premature. This is especially true given national patterns of increased commute distances, food miles, and even the potent greenhouse gases used to make flat screen tvs and computers both of which have gained widespread adoption in the time period described. This is an important caveat to add if we are to suggest that carbon footprints are going down anywhere.
Offset markets are changing. Despite the recession, offset demand remains high. More importantly, those purchasing offsets are increasing demanding higher quality offsets. Read more from Climate Change Corp.
Why are pre-1984 cars not eligible for the cash for clunkers program? Lobbyists… for classic cars. The LA Times uncovers how, yet again, a good idea gets mired in politics.
House Votes for $2 Billion Fund to Extend ‘Clunker’ Plan According to our calculation, assuming a reduction of 50,000 miles per “clunker” and an average 10mpg improvement, this program is reducing greenhouse emissions at a cost of approximately $75/t.
Wal-Mart will begin to require its supplies to calculate the full environmental impact of their products through lifecycle analysis – Worldwatch Institute
A new report from McKinsey and Company details the potential energy savings that accompany energy efficiency improvements
Listen to a recent Commonwealth Club podcast on sustainability and the value chain
Read up on how cool roofs can save on energy costs