environment, sustainability

User pays to pollute: right or wrong?


The carbon footprint for my visit to Singapore and Hong Kong to see family was equivalent to 3.2 metric tonnes. Which seems to be a small price to pay if I applied the EU ETS user pays model for my carbon footprint – a piddly USD$53 for a CDM approved project which I can buy online. Being naturally curious, the US EPA greenhouse gas equivalent calculator tallied up my air travel footprint and created a number of scenarios on what my impact would be in the real world.

I am all in favour of the EU principal of paying for the right to pollute. Many travellers would quite outrightly disagree with this. After all, if you have stumped up a generous price in taxes, fuel surcharges, credit card surcharges etc., the last thing you would probably want is a penalty for the right to travel.

I would love to see a concerted effort by all countries to impose this. Imagine how much we can collect from this to fund approved sequestration projects. Perhaps the right to travel should come with the responsibility to reduce the impact associated with this. Don’t hate me for suggesting we should….


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