Govt launches call to evidence on carbon offsetting in transport

 

The Government has launched a call for evidence on offsetting carbon emissions produced by transport, which accounted for approximately one third of UK carbon dioxide emissions in 2018.

The Department for Transport is inviting views on whether companies selling travel tickets for flights, ferries, trains, coach and other travel should have to offer 'additional carbon offsets so that consumers can choose to compensate when they book'.

Carbon offsetting can compensate for the carbon emissions through projects that reduce an equivalent amount of emissions such as planting trees to installing solar panels.

The call for evidence hopes to address consumer awareness around the carbon emissions from different journey types, what carbon offsets are available or how they might offset the emissions from their journey.

'The timely provision of environmental information on the comparative level of carbon emissions across different journey types could help drive consumer choices towards less polluting journey options. But to do so, we believe that such information needs to be as accurate, easy to understand, and directly comparable as possible,' the document states.

'We also believe that increased transparency around the publication and accessibility of such information could encourage operators to reduce the emissions from the journeys they provide - for instance where their emissions can be seen to be higher than other operators.

'We are interested in views and evidence regarding the provision of individual journey emission information by operators - i.e. the CO2 emitted per passenger for a particular journey.'

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: 'An offsetting scheme could help inform travellers about how much carbon their journey produces and provide the opportunity to fund schemes, like tree planting, to compensate for those emissions.

'However, our focus remains to target the development, production and uptake of zero emission technology across all modes of transport.'

The Government aims to set up a 'stronger and more attractive market for domestic carbon offsetting that will encourage more businesses to support cost-effective emission reductions'.

Later this year, the government also plans to publish an Aviation Strategy, which will map a strategy to ensure the sector plays its part in tackling climate change.

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