Carbon offsets and snake oil salesmen

May 6, 2007 at 3:00 am 1 comment

South Africa photoWhat’s the connection between carbon offsets and snake oil salemen? Well, the smart people at EasyJet have figured this one out pretty quickly. They’ve discovered that the carbon offset market is riddled with ‘snake oil salesman’ who care little for the environment but who care a darn lot about how much money they can get out of airline passengers wanting to pay penance for air travel. In an earlier post, I investigated for myself the carbon offset business and discovered that there is no regulation for carbon credits, which can be bought for varying amounts per tonne – a glittering fact that appeals to snake oil salesmen in pursuit of the almighty profit.

EasyJet was apparently ‘shocked” by the excessive amounts carbon offsetters were asking for their service and in a bold move has decided to launch its own carbon offset business by acquiring credits in UN-accredited schemes on the open market and selling them back to customers. EasyJet’s communication director said that carbon offsetters wanted 25-30% out of every English pound paid by green-minded passengers. This creaming off the top is for administration costs.

Of course, newer jets emit less carbon emissions so a really smart idea would be for the European Union to get rid of all older planes and an even smarter idea would be regulation of the embryonic carbon offsetting market.

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Entry filed under: Carbon offsetting.

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