'Carbon tax' to compensate for G8 presidency aviation

A A A

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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before