carbon offsets / aviation impacts

Report
Understanding
Carbon Offsets
Anthropogenic greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions
Result from human activity
- including fossil fuel burning
for power generation
Anthropogenic greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions
Result from human activity
- transportation
Anthropogenic greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions
Result from human activity
- fossil fuel subsidized agriculture
and its byproducts
Anthropogenic greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions
Methane emissions
from enteric
fermentation in
livestock and
manure management
represent 25.0
percent and 9.4
percent of total CH4
emissions from
anthropogenic
activities,
respectively.
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange
/Downloads/ghgemissions/USGHG-Inventory-2014-Chapter-6Agriculture.pdf
(…including this kind…)
Anthropogenic greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions
Methane is about 20
times more powerful as a
greenhouse gas than
carbon dioxide.
Since food is produced with
a huge fossil fuel subsidy,
human emissions are net
contributors to global
warming!
10 kcal of exosomatic
energy are required to
produce 1 kcal of food
delivered to the consumer
in the U.S. food system.
Food, Land, Population and the U.S. Economy,
Executive Summary, Pimentel, David and Giampietro,
Mario. Carrying Capacity Network, 11/21/1994.
http://www.dieoff.com/page40.htm
(…and this kind…)
Anthropogenic greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions
•
•
•
•
Result from human activity, e.g.:
Burning of fossil fuels
Production of industrial chemicals
(e.g., CFCs, certain fuels and
solvents, methane)
Industrial agriculture
Burning and destruction of forests
and other carbon sinks, etc.
Result: a net increase of greenhouse
gases released into the atmosphere
Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Main Sector - 2010
2010 total:
50.1 GtCO2e
(with a 95%
uncertainty range
of 45.6 - 54.6)
(1 Gigatonne = 1
billion tonnes (109
or 1,000,000,000)
Transport
13%
1 Megatonne =
one million tonnes
(106 or 1,000,000).
Transport
28.1%
(Canada)
Transport
27.2%
(USA)
Anthropogenic greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions
• Not all GHG emissions are comprised
of carbon dioxide
• Some other substances (e.g.,
methane, CFCs) are more persistent
and more effective at causing global
warming than CO2
• however, GHG emissions are
typically measured in ton(ne)s of
CO2-equivalents (or 'CO2e')
Problems and solutions
Global warming facts
1 ton (US) = 0.907 tonnes
Clean Air - Cool Planet. 2006. A Consumer's Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers.
Trexler Climate and Energy Services, Inc., Portland, Oregon, USA. Available online at
URL: http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/ConsumersGuidetoCarbonOffsets.pdf
Global warming facts
1 ton (US) = 0.907 tonnes
Clean Air - Cool Planet. 2006. A Consumer's Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers.
Trexler Climate and Energy Services, Inc., Portland, Oregon, USA. Available online at
URL: http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/ConsumersGuidetoCarbonOffsets.pdf
Global warming facts
1,000 tons (US) = 907 tonnes
Clean Air - Cool Planet. 2006. A Consumer's Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers.
Trexler Climate and Energy Services, Inc., Portland, Oregon, USA. Available online at
URL: http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/ConsumersGuidetoCarbonOffsets.pdf
How can we reduce GHG emissions?
• Reduction and conservation
• Creation of carbon sinks
(e.g., persistent forest cover)
to reverse trend of GHG buildup
• Sequestering of carbon by other
mechanisms
• One economic strategy:
Carbon Offsets
Carbon offsetting
• the reduction, avoidance, or
sequestering of GHG emissions from
a specific project by investment in
another project which compensates
for these emissions
• Carbon offsets are bought, sold, and
traded through a number of
international brokers, online retailers,
and trading platforms
Carbon offsetting
Carbon offsetting
Examples of carbon offsetting projects:
• Renewable energy projects
(wind, solar, geothermal, water power)
• Energy efficiency projects (e.g.,
replacing old infrastructure with efficient
infrastructure)
• Fuel switching (e.g., converting from
fossil fuels to renewables like biodiesel)
• Methane capture / avoidance (e.g.,
landfill gas capture and utilization)
Carbon offsetting
Examples of carbon offsetting projects:
• Afforestation (planting trees where
none existed before)
• Reforestation (replacing trees removed
for economic or other purposes)
• Sequestering (storage of GHGs in
some form of living sink (e.g., trees) or
nonliving sink (e.g., deep mine storage,
mineral carbonates, other inorganic
substances, etc.)
Innovative sequestering
solution: CO2-based plastics
Newlight Technologies Aircarbon
• uses plastic for
capturing and
sequestering carbon
• Newlight’s first
commercial plant, in
California, captures
methane generated by a
dairy farm’s waste
lagoon and transports it
to a bioreactor.
Innovative sequestering
solution: CO2-based plastics
Newlight Technologies Aircarbon
• In bioreactor, enzymes
combine the gas with
air to form a polymer.
The resulting plastic,
called AirCarbon,
performs identically to
most oil-based plastics
but costs less—
creating a market-driven solution to
global warming.
Video clip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuOOgr4DZbE
NEWLIGHT TECHNOLOGIES
AIRCARBON
Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/30/plastic-from-carbon-emissions/4192945/
Carbon offsetting
• counteracts or offsets greenhouse
gases that would have been emitted
into the atmosphere
• a compensating equivalent for
reductions made at a specific source
of emissions
• can be implemented quickly and at a
relatively low cost
Offset criteria
Offsets must be rigorously
quantified and understood
•
•
Baseline - What emissions would
occur in the absence of a proposed
offsetting project?
Additionality - Would the carbonoffsetting project occur anyway—
without the investment raised by
selling carbon offset credits?
Offset criteria
•
Redundancy - Are the reductions
already required by some other law
or regulation?
•
Permanence - Are some benefits of
the reductions reversible? (e.g.,
cutting trees to burn the wood)
•
Leakage - Does implementing the
project cause higher emissions
outside the project boundary?
Skepticism about carbon offsets
• Not all carbon-offsetting
schemes are created equal
• Analysis of the strategies
is required in order to
purchase offsets wisely
• Humorous example of
activist cynicism about
carbon offsets:
The Armchair Environmentalist's
Guide to Offsets
http://www.planestupid.com/?q=offset
Evaluating carbon offset programs
Evaluating carbon offset programs
• Available free in PDF format at
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/Publications/offset_vendors.asp
• Compares and ranks carbon offsetters based on the
following criteria:
Carbon emissions calculator
Aircraft emissions (costs as of 17 Nov 2014):
• LivClean –
CDN $20 / tonne
http://www.livclean.ca/calculator.php
• Atmosfair –
22.93 Euros (CDN $32.26) / tonne
http://atmosfair.de/en/
• Climate Care –
CDN $12.14 / tonne
http://www.climatecare.org/home.aspx
Aviation impacts
on global warming
and local communities
Fuel efficiency of jet aircraft has
improved by 70% since the 1950s
Megajoules / aircraft seat kilometre
Fuel efficiency of jet aircraft has
improved by 70% since the 1950s
However, we are flying more –
• Air traffic grew 5.3% in 2012 alone
• US FAA predicts that passenger
levels will double over 2006 levels by
2018, and may triple by 2027
• Aircraft in service 2012: 20,310
• Aircraft to be in service 2032: 41,240
• Every kg of jet fuel translates into 3
kg of CO2e
A looming problem in the skies
• Aviation sector is the fastest growing
contributor to global warming
Aviation industry accounted for:
• 3.5% of all GHG in 1990
• 13% of UK total contribution to climate
change
• 10% of all transportation related GHG in
the USA in 2007
• If current trends continue, aviation is
expected to account for up to 15% of GGH
by 2050
Sources:
UK / world data: http://www.planestupid.com/?q=climate (25 Mar 2008)
US Data: Popular Science 272(2):40-46 (Mar 2008)
A looming problem on the ground
• Airport traffic and
noise have rendered
some towns near
airports virtually unliveable
• Protests have
ensued in many UK
cities (e.g., London,
Edinburgh, Newquay,
Luton, Kent, Bristol,
Manchester)
Time-lapse photograph of apartment
in Hounslow showing one hour worth
of aircraft traffic from Heathrow Airport
BBC / CBC Documentary
Should I Really Give up Flying?
• Originally produced by BBC2 as a 90
minute special in 2006, broadcast
January 2007
• Edited down and re-broadcast on CBC’s
‘The Passionate Eye’ in late 2007
• Overview of the problems associated
with rapid expansion in commercial air
travel
BBC / CBC Documentary
Should I Really Give up Flying?
UPDATES – Kingfisher Airlines
• took over budget airline Air Deccan in April
2008; Vijay Mallya was chairman and CEO
and G. R. Gopinath was Vice-Chairman
• had the second largest share in India's
domestic air travel market in 2011
• shut down operations in October 2012 due tro
financial problems; Indian Directorate General
of Civil Aviation suspended flight certificate in
late 2012 and withdrew all flight entitlements
allocated to the airline in February 2013
• CEO Vijay Mallya quit on 17 Feb 2014
BBC / CBC Documentary
Should I Really Give up Flying?
UPDATES – EasyJet
• now the largest airline of the United Kingdom,
by number of passengers (600 routes in 32
countries)
• 2007: announced plans for construction of its
own carbon fibre composite airliner by 2015.
No information has been released to date.
• offers carbon offsets (for a surcharge)
• 2011: painted 8 aircraft with nano technology
polymer to reduce debris build-up and drag,
saving 1–2% fuel annually, equating to a £14
million reduction in fuel costs
BBC / CBC Documentary
Should I Really Give up Flying?
UPDATES – Airbus A380
• largest commercial airliner in the world (525
people in 3-class configuration, or up to 853 in
all-economy class configuration)
• entered service in October 2007 with
Singapore Airlines
• 144 currently in service,
318 orders

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