Sunday, April 01, 2007

March's Carbon Emissions


It's that time of the month, to take a look back at my business travel and calculate what I believe I contributed to carbon dioxide emissions. Of course, the mileage is not 100% accurate, and some of the mileage was in a four cylinder turbo while other miles were in a V-6 or a V-8 or whatever. Perhaps I'll work to get more accurate as I continue with this exercise, since that is what this whole experiment is for, figuring out how to do this correctly.

Business Auto mileage:
770
571 driving alone + 199 from 397 actual passenger miles. I use my scientific "fudge factor", dividing passenger miles by 2, to obtain my contribution.


Air Travel:
Boston to Baltimore on Delta and Newark to Boston on Continental

I'll run this by my friends at CarbonFund and NativeEergy and see what they come up with.

1 comment:

Billy Connelly said...

Please see our travel calculator and the description pop-up window for “How do we calculate this?” :

http://www.nativeenergy.com/travel/

How do we calculate this?

Flights:
Shorter flights are more fuel intensive because of the significant amount of altitude gain relative to the length of the flight itself. On a short trip, a large portion of the energy per mile is devoted to climbing and landing, compared to cruising. That means shorter trips are more carbon intensive.
Depending on whether your travel fits into the short, medium or long haul category, we apply a CO 2 emissions factor of 0.64, 0.44 or 0.40 lbs of CO 2 per passenger mile, respectively. This gives us the direct CO 2 emissions from your flight. [These factors are from the GHG Protocol Commuting Emissions Tool v 1.2]
In addition, we apply an RFI (radiative forcing index) of 2.0 to the direct CO 2 emissions from air travel, resulting in total CO 2 equivalent emission factors of 1.28, 0.88 or 0.8 for short, medium and long haul flight segments. By doubling the direct CO 2 emissions, our goal is to account for the overall global warming impact of air travel for all air emissions - not just the CO 2 - such as the warming effect of contrails. In its 1999 Special Report on Aviation in the Global Atmosphere, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated the RFI from air travel in 1990 to be between 2 and 4, averaging 2.7 times the carbon impact alone. More recently, the TRADEOFF project of The Fifth Framework Programme of the European Commission of the EU, suggested an RFI of 1.9. The Climate Neutral Network recommends use of a 2.0 times factor on the short haul rate for all flight miles.
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We continue to work very hard to make sure that our online tools meet with our high standards, including use of the most up-to-date climate science data and information. Our calculator will estimate emissions based on short-, medium-, or long-haul flights. As you know, we apply the RFI, but most other marketers do not, and that attention to scientific detail has benefits and challenges in a developing market. As I’m sure you understand. We are the leader for many reasons because we take into consideration the real impact and affect our emissions have on the atmosphere – as well as the solutions that will help us effectively address the climate crisis.

If you have not yet seen this university study of TRAVEL OFFSETS providers, please see:
http://www.tufts.edu/tie/tci/pdf/TCI_Carbon_Offsets_Paper_Jan31.pdf

NativeEnergy has always focused on the highest quality offsets – in terms of both environmental and social value – from new renewable energy projects that our supporters actually help get built; projects that without NativeEnergy’s support may never be built.

The issues surrounding quality and additionality are at the heart of our business, which is why we designed our model to fix a major flaw in the market: projects need long-term commitments, but energy consumers won’t lock in to long-term commitments. We effectively fix that market failure by purchasing upfront the entire expected lifetime output of RECs and/or carbon offsets the project will generate, and our support represents as much as 25% of the total construction cost, which makes a very real difference in bringing a project on line. Sure those RECs and/or offsets are generated over time, but that is certainly better than having them not be generated at all. The reality of our approach, for our clients, is that they can actually see the impact that their support has on the project; they can meet the folks who are developing the projects – Native American communities, Alaska Native communities, farm families – in communities at risk, and they can point to THEIR project and truly claim, “I helped build that.”

That high value and direct personal relationship is a considerable difference and is one of many benefits, which separate NativeEnergy from other providers. It is evidence that all offsets are certainly not equal.

For information about ‘additionality’ – a very important issue developing in the industry – please see: http://www.nativeenergy.com/additionality.html and
http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/ConsumersGuidetoCarbonOffsets.pdf

Thank you,
Billy Connelly
NativeEnergy

www.NativeEnergy.com

The only carbon offsets provider for "AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH" (the carbon neutral film, book, and DVD), NRDC, Bonnaroo, Co-op America, The X-Prize Foundation, and the only provider of offsets for the only 2 carbon neutral events at the United Nations.