Guernsey’s Lieutenant-Governor has backed the Channel Island’s first carbon offsetting scheme which aims to raise more than £100,000 for local biodiversity projects.
The project has been launched by ESI Monitor, who are a local environmental and social standards business, and has been sponsored by The Channel Islands Co- operative Society.
Islanders will be encouraged to input how many miles they drive annually and what type of car they have online. Their carbon will then be calculated and islanders will pay to offset it. The money will be split between ‘green’ projects both worldwide and in Guernsey.
The Lieutenant-Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder was one of the first to use the scheme by offsetting emissions from Government House road vehicles.
He said “We are blessed with a beautiful natural environment here in the Bailiwick, so I’m pleased to be able to do something that directly helps to protect it for future generations. I’m also delighted to support a local initiative that is working to internationally recognised standards to help build Guernsey’s reputation as an environmentally responsible jurisdiction.”
Kenny McDonald, head of retail operations for The Channel Islands Co-operative Society, said: ‘The Society are delighted to be the main sponsors of ESI’s Carbon Offset scheme. As a responsible retailer we are committed to doing as much as we can to lessen our impact on the environment, and this is a fantastic green incentive we can encourage both our colleagues and members to get on-board with.’
ESI Monitor hope the scheme will encourage islanders to reduce their carbon footprint as much as they can in daily life. Normal carbon offsetting schemes work by calculating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by things like cars, motorbikes and boats and spending money to sequester an equivalent amount of CO2e or stop it being emitted. Harmful emissions include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, water vapour, and nitrous oxide. These are all ‘natural’ gases, but due to human activity they are being emitted at extremely unnatural rates. These are commonly calculated as ‘CO2e’, or carbon dioxide and equivalents.
ESI Monitor’s Carbon Offset Plus supports projects that absorb CO2e or prevent CO2e from being produced in the future. 80% of the projects are certified, such as from WWF Gold Standard, and 20% are non-certified projects that deserve support.
Making it unique, in addition, Carbon Offset Plus also supports environmental conservation and restoration projects in the Islands, both on land and at sea. ESI Monitor hope to become a major funder of restorative biodiversity projects in the islands through this scheme plus a consumer, business and airline versions coming soon. Once all versions are live we hope our funding of local biodiversity projects could exceed £250,000 a year, but to do this we need islanders to embrace the scheme.
“Carbon offsetting is not new,” said ESI Monitor Sustainability Advisor Fred Betley. “However it is not always possible to be reassured that signing up to a scheme will have the impact that you would like. By establishing this scheme, based locally and using certified projects, Carbon Offset Plus will offset 100% of a given activity and additionally provide grants to biodiversity in the islands, giving Channel Islanders the peace of mind they need that they are helping the environment at the point of pollution and further afield.
“We also felt it was important for the scheme to directly benefit our local environment, which is why we will use half of the funds to support local conservation schemes.”
Rising greenhouse gas emissions are accelerating climate change faster than anticipated. A warming climatic system’s effects are felt globally, and for many these effects are expected to impact the availability of basic necessities, including freshwater, food and energy security. We are a long way from limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C in a carbon-neutral world by 2050. By offsetting your carbon emissions and supporting ‘green’ projects both locally and worldwide, you’ll be starting the transition to a more sustainable life.
To sign up, individuals or businesses should visit the www.carbonoffset.com or www.esimonitor.org/carbonoffsetplus website where they can enter the details of the cars, motorbikes or boats they would like to offset, following which an annual charge will be calculated.
Islanders offsetting boat, car or motorcycle emissions will receive a windscreen badge to proudly display, demonstrating that they have made a significant contribution to the mitigation of climate change.
Boat owners can also choose to purchase the Carbon Offset+ flag to proudly fly and encourage others to transition to a local boating community that is creating a more sustainable future.
“We are very grateful to our sponsors the Co-op as well as the Lieutenant-Governor for setting such a good example and encouraging others to consider offsetting their own emissions. We already have a range of individuals and businesses signing up and are keen to hear from more.”
More information: https://carbonoffsetplus.com