Thursday, December 20, 2007

San Francisco Adopts Carbon Offset Plan

San Francisco Adopts Carbon Offset Plan. By Adam Tanner, Reuters, December 18, 2007. "San Francisco will become the first U.S. city to offer a program to offset the impact of global warming by funding local green activities, the mayor said in an interview on Monday. Under the program to be announced on Tuesday, city officials would calculate the carbon cost of their travels and contribute to one of several city programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions -- or forego the travel altogether. 'What we are trying to do by this is to set high standards to show carbon offset programs that work,' Gavin Newsom told Reuters, adding he was wary of offsets with little accountability that promise action in distant lands. For official travel, that means a round-trip flight from San Francisco to New York would cost an additional $80 to $90, officials say, to be paid into the city's offset programs such as converting restaurant grease into fuel, installing solar energy devices or investing in energy conservation. The program will not cost additional funds, which means city departments would cut out some travel to pay for other trips with carbon offsets, Newsom said. A second phase of the program would also allow residents to buy offsets... In 2004, Newsom set a goal of cutting the city's annual carbon dioxide emissions by 2.5 million tons by 2012, a 20-percent reduction below 1990 emissions."

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