“For a small donation, we can all feel a little better about driving our cars knowing that we are doing our bit to reduce the threat of global warming,” suggests Peter Brock at the Greenfleet website.
The idea is that for $40 (tax deductible), Greenfleet will plant 17 native trees on your behalf. These trees will help to create a forest, and as they grow will absorb the greenhouse gases that your car produces in one year (based on 4.3 tonnes of CO2 for the average car).
Greenfleet runs advertisements in The Age, and reader of this blog Norman Endacott had the following comment which was included in a letter to the Editor but not published: “The very modest carbon sequestration achieved by these post-Kyoto activities will always be insignificant in comparison with the huge inexorable fossil fuel usage. Even if those trees survive and prosper, their carbon benefit will reach its plateau or peak within a century, and millions of other people of goodwill will then be asked to cough up their contributions. In any case, what is special about native trees, in this context?”
The largest subscriber to Greenfleet appears to be the Queensland Government. “QFleet has contributed more than $714,000 in Greenfleet subscriptions, which will fund the planting of 433,500 trees in Queensland, re-establishing more than 400 hectares of native habitat,” said Minister for Public Works, Housing and Racing Robert Schwarten on 30th March 2005.
This seems like an expensive way to re-establish native habitat in a State where, according to reader of this blog Graham Finlayson, “Just scratch a stick in the dirt and a tree will come up.” (Comment made by Graham in the context of carbon credits and tree clearing restrictions in western Queensland, see post 2nd June.)
Since Norman sent off his letter, Greenfleet have started promoting a new idea, trees to offset airtravel. Greenfleet is now offering to offset greenhouse gas emissions resulting from a one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne by charging $2.35 (tax-deductible) or one tree.
I wonder where they are going to plant all the trees?
It’s been a while since i looked at Greenfleet, but as i recall their is info on their website about where they plant their trees, and statements on the rigour of their abatement calcs.
>”The very modest carbon sequestration achieved by these post-Kyoto activities will always be insignificant in comparison with the huge inexorable fossil fuel usage. Even if those trees survive and prosper, their carbon benefit will reach its plateau or peak within a century”
Norman doesn’t seem to understand greenfleet. Its a VOLUNTARY scheme for individual cars. Its not a govt policy to abate all the fossil fuel emissions in the world.It allows you to offset your personal car emissions for 1 YEAR. Its irrelevant that the trees might stop growing in 100 years, because it is only about offsetting your emissions for 1 year. They calculate how much carbon each tree would sequester.
Wow, $714,000 of qld taxpayers hard earned!
1000 trees per hectare, $1700 per hectare planted for 400 hectares of ‘native habitat’.
I bet the graziers out west of qld regenerate several orders of magnitude more than this each year just sitting in their ute looking out the window.
The greenies burnt down several orders of magnitute more than this over 2 months during the 2003 fires, and I bet it was better quality habitat than greenfleet will ever recreate.
I wonder what they plant and who gets the proceeds of the final timber rights sales?
Different shades of Green says
Greenfleet plant stock of provenance to the site being revegetated. Anything that grows to 2m or taller so as to be compliant with AGO guidelines as to what constitutes a carbon sink. Another agency is welcome to plant understory but Greenfleet uses their budget to pay for the stock the donation provider forks out for.
No one gets final timber rights/$ as the plantings are undertaken with a view to permanence, i.e. reintroducing habitat among other benefits.
Its another solution to a problem no one else seems to want to address. Forester? How would you try to reduce CO2 emmissions/loss of habitat/erosion/salinity.
Feel free to have a chat with the graziers to see if they would like to let productive/profitable land return to bush. The greens will love you for it.