In the future, new concepts such as Personal Carbon Trading, carbon labelling or integrated offsets will certainly receive further attention.
When you buy a ticked on the EasyJet airline website and before the flight is booked, you are asked if you would like to offset the emissions from the flight you are just about to purchase. The offsets offered by the company are CERs created from CDM projects. The non-profit scheme works fairly easy. The airline calculates the carbon emitted from the passenger flight and buys an equivalent share from a range of CERs. By avoiding any middle-man and buying directly from the pool of offsets available the company can keep the cost low and forward this advantage to its customers.
The projects supported by this scheme range from biomass to wind farms. One project for example supported by EasyJet customers is the construction of the Perlabi hydropower plant that uses water from Chirizacha River in the Andes in Ecuador, South America. The emission reduction in the first decade is expected to be about 74 000 tonnes. The project generates clean electricity, reducing reliance on fossil fuel power generation as well as creating benefits and job opportunities to the local community.
(Personal Carbon Trading refers to the act of equally allocating emissions credits to individuals on a per capita basis, within national carbon budgets (for an example of how this would work, see the United Kingdom Climate Change Bill). Individuals would probably hold their emissions credits in electronic accounts and surrender them when they made carbon-related purchases, such as electricity, heating fuel and petrol. People wanting more energy would be able to take part in emissions trading to secure more credits, just as companies do now within the EU ETS. There are no working schemes at the moment. Current proposals include Tradable Energy Quotas – which would bring other sectors of society (e.g. industry) within the scope of the scheme – and Personal Carbon Allowances. These proposals could be applied on a national or multinational basis. Proponents of personal carbon trading claim it could increase “carbon literacy”, helping people to make a fair contribution to reducing CO2 emissions (and ultimately those of other GHGs). It could allow the burden of reducing emissions to be shared evenly throughout the economy, rather than focusing all the attention on business and governments, and could encourage more localized economies.)