Green Institute adopts Carbon Offset Policy

11/11/2006

The
Green Institute understands that Global Warming is one of the great
challenges that humanity faces, a challenge of its own making. The
evidence is conclusive that global warming is happening and that our
activities have caused the greatest share of it.

 

 As
an organization committed to the long-term sustainability of life on
planet earth and to lifestyles that do not undermine the quality of
life for future generations for all living creatures on the planet, we
are committed to limiting our impacts and to acknowledging and dealing
with the impacts we cannot avoid. We also call for less carbon
intensive alternatives for long-distance travel in the United States, including passenger train service.

 

Therefore
we declare our commitment that all travel for the Green Institute will
include provision for carbon offset. We believe that this is not an
“extra” cost, but part of the true cost of our travel, and we cannot be
true to our values if we ignore that real cost. We are committed to
supporting carbon offset activities that are both diverse in their
specific activities and verifiable in their impacts. We will
continually monitor the projects we choose for carbon offsets with an
eye to long-term impact.

 

We
call on all organizations that understand the real crisis of global
warming and care about sustainability to join us in adopting policies
that cover their real cost to the planet.

 

The famous "hockey stick" graph, showing a spike in temperatures in recent years

 

The
policy is expected to add between 5 and 10% to the cost of air travel.
There are many companies, both for-profit and non-profit, that
implement carbon offset projects. While the earliest such projects
often involved the planting of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere, this has become less common since we cannot know how
long those forests will survive. Most carbon offset projects these days
involve non-carbon energy-producing facilities that replace some carbon
in the electricity grid or for transportation.

Initially the Green Institute plans to support the work of Native Energy with
this policy, and we will continue to look at all carbon offset projects
to see which we believe are most deserving of our support due to being
in line with broader Green values and beliefs. Native Energy's support
for alternative energy production on some of the poorest of Native
lands in the United States addresses poverty and oppression while also
helping to jump start a new climate policy in the United States -
demonstrating how dealing with global warming is not only good for the
climate, but good for people as well.