Archive for April 23rd, 2010

Volcano eruption cuts global aviation emissions

I received this article from our carbon offset partner Greenfleet, the other day…. certainly makes a thought provoking read:

We may not be able to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull – the name of the Icelandic volcano that grounded thousands of flights in Europe this week – but thanks to the team at Information is Beautiful and the Nordic Volcanological Institute of the University of Iceland we can estimate the greenhouse gas emissions being saved as a result of this natural phenomenon.
The diagram below highlights the greenhouse gas contributions of the European aviation industry and Eyjafjallajökull in red, with the black triangle showing the greenhouse gas savings associated with the cancellation of 60% of flights across Europe.  As you can see the volcano is a relatively small player in the global greenhouse gas equation, and the savings resulting from flight cancellations are much greater.

This comparison is probably also good fodder for people who say that dramatic greenhouse gas reductions are going to cripple industry – as this event has definitely adversely affected a number of industries across Europe and the world.  However, we’re not advocating this sort of event to reduce global emissions.

But we do think it is important to illustrate the very hefty contribution of greenhouse gas emissions from human sources when compared to natural sources – even such immense events as the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull.  Human activities are indeed a very significant contributor to global greenhouse gas concentrations and climate change.

learn more about our carbon emissions program here

planes verses volcano CO2 output

Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer

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April 2010
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