Are you a rich, virtue-signaling hypocrite experiencing ‘eco-guilt’ for bouncing all over world in a private jet while condemning others for their vastly smaller carbon footprint?
Fear not, Bloomberg News has you covered.
To atone for your carbon sins – particularly if you just can’t bring yourself to fly commercial (private jets emit as much as 20x more carbon dioxide per passenger) – simply snap up some carbon credits! In addition to convincing yourself you’re not a hypocrite, you’ll be prepared for awkward interview questions in Aspen after igniting 400 gallons of jet fuel to shuttle your entourage to next year’s film festival.
Beware of scams, however, as only Carbon credits which truly benefit the planet should only be purchased from ‘well-established NGOs.’
If you have the money, the easiest way is to pay for carbon credits. To make sure you’re investing in a project that will truly benefit the planet, look for credits from groups that well-established nongovernmental organizations support. Gold Standard, which NGOs including the WWF created, has issued more than 100 million carbon credits from about 700 projects worldwide. For example, you can offset a ton of CO2 by donating $18 to a reforestation effort in East Timor or by giving $15 to a program that provides fuel-efficient stoves for women in North Darfur. –Bloomberg
More Q&A for the curious (Via Bloomberg)
How do I know how much I need to offset?
It depends on factors such as the amount of fuel burned and the altitude reached in flight. “People are put off by the fact they can go to different calculators and get different estimates of what that footprint of their flight would be,” Leugers says. “The reality is there are different levels of calibration.” One “finely calibrated” online calculator for commercial flights is from German nonprofit Atmosfair, she says. The unique details involved with a personal jet trip mean you’ll probably need to call in your own expert.
Can I use biofuel for my jet?
If you can find it. The 15 million liters (almost 4 million gallons) of aviation biofuel produced in 2018 accounted for less than 0.1% of total aviation fuel consumption, says the International Energy Agency. The IEA noted on its website in March that only five airports have regular biofuel distribution—Bergen, Norway; Brisbane, Australia; Los Angeles; Oslo; and Stockholm. Biofuels are also costlier. The aviation industry says this might eventually be resolved with ramped-up production of biofuels from cheap and plentiful feedstocks such as agricultural waste.
Can I just buy an electric private plane?
There are already small two- and four-seater electric planes in the air. Something comfier, in the 50-seat range, might be ready for short-haul flights by 2027, says Bertrand Piccard, co-founder of Solar Impulse, a solar-powered aircraft project. “Sixty-six years after the Wright Brothers, they put people on the moon,” he says. “That shows how fast innovation can go.”