Green Markets

EWN Publishing

By 2012, Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, will require carbon labelling on all the products it sells so that shoppers can compare carbon costs

Posted by gmarkets on 3 October, 2007

According to Randy Stringer and Mike Young of the University of Adelaide, trading in carbon offsets is now a billion-dollar global industry, reported The Advertiser (8/8/2007, p. D20).

Organisations seek to balance out emissions: Individuals and businesses on each continent were paying specialised organisations to plant trees, invest in renewable power sources and finance carbon-reducing projects. In this way they sought to balance out their greenhouse gas emissions by cutting the same amount of emissions elsewhere.

Global industry leaders taking things in their own hands: Australians had another urgent reason to become carbon-responsible: they soon wouldn’t have any choice. The European Union was considering stiff tariffs/taxes on coal imports, expanding emissions caps and other green measures. Global industry leaders were already taking things in their own hands. By 2012, Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, would require carbon labelling on all the products it sold so that shoppers could compare carbon costs. Several other retail giants were close behind.

Problem with carbon offset; impossible to track: The problem with carbon offsets is that it was almost impossible to see or track them for yourself. And many of the businesses who marketed them in an effort to appear ecofriendly didn’t ‘t make it clear what was being offered. It was up to buyers to make sure they were purchasing an effective product or service. Tree planting, for example, could be beneficial if the species were appropriate for the site. Plantings requiring irrigation and pesticides just created other environmental problems. Trees could burn down, die from drought or be logged, so such projects also needed to have guarantees that someone would maintain them.

The Advertiser, 8/8/2007, p. D20

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