'Carbon tax' to compensate for G8 presidency aviation
Thursday 13 April 2006
A carbon "tax" will raise £100,000 across Whitehall departments to compensate for the 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide caused by extra air travel associated with Britain's presidency of the G8 and the summit at Gleneagles last year.
The money will go towards environment projects in the developing world over the next three years to offset the harmful effects of the air travel by G8 leaders, but that is seen as a small sum to pay for global warming.
The campaign group Friends of the Earth said: "We think carbon offsetting is an awareness tool, but it is not a solution. The Government needs to reverse its policies allowing growth in aviation, if it is serious about climate change - no Terminal Five at Heathrow, and no expansion at Stansted."
The Government's carbon emissions offsetting scheme may be aimed at showing the world that Tony Blair is serious about tackling global warming but it will not apply to the air travel by the Prime Minister and his ministers between Labour coming into power in 1997 and 2005.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said as part of the cross-government commitment on climate change, all Defra's flights, including those by ministers, were to be offset "at least" from 1 April last year - a year earlier than the rest of Whitehall, which brought in the policy at the start of this month.
Margaret Beckett, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who is believed to be on an Easter break with her husband, Leo, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, has also given a commitment that all emissions from last year's EU presidency will be offset along with the G8 summit.
Britain is buying "carbon credits" to offset the aviation emissions attributable to the UK delegation flying to last year's UN conference on climate change in Montreal. A township in Kuyasa, South Africa, will be the first project to benefit from the scheme. The money raised for travel associated with the G8 summit will go on installing solar water heaters, ceiling insulation and compact fluorescent light bulbs in thousands of homes in deprived neighbourhoods over the next three years.
As ministers faced accusations of hypocrisy for using jets for short hops, Mrs Beckett's junior environment minister, Elliot Morley, urged holidaymakers to donate towards the Travel Foundation, a voluntary carbon-offsetting scheme set up by operators such as First Choice Holidays and Thomas Cook.
Portraits of Peru: Why supermodel Helena Christensen returned to her roots
Drug-resistant bacteria: Sewage-treatment plants described as giant 'mixing vessels' after scientists discover mutated microbes in British river
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Chief Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone has contracted the deadly disease himself
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Banking, Financial Reporting, ...
£375 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + V. Competitive : Progressive Recruitment: Embedded...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a Global Professional Service...