UK Ministry Offsets Air Travel with South African Wind

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) will offset carbon emissions generated from annual air travel by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 2004.

REEEP, a global partnership that facilitates financing for sustainable energy projects, and CO2e.com LLC, (CO2e), a leading broker within the global carbon markets, facilitated the deal, which is a first for CO2e sourcing Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) for the European voluntary sector. The UK government is the first government to offset air travel via the REEEP mechanism. It is also the first carbon offset transaction involving a governmental organization — using REEEP’s newly established facility for governments, Voluntary Carbon Offset Mechanism (VCO). In this transaction of the REEEP VCO, carbon emissions from the UK FCO’s air travel will be offset by a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project in South Africa. Earlier this year, REEEP was contracted by the FCO to manage the process of offsetting all its aviation emissions – over 38,000 tons of carbon and other high altitude emissions generated by the air travel of FCO Ministers and staff based in the UK in 2004. REEEP awarded CO2e the opportunity to facilitate the offset transaction having selected them based on their experience and flexibility to arrange the deal. The REEEP VCO provides a solid project selection procedure where in cooperation with REEEP, NGOs, CO2e and the respective government, the most appropriate and highest quality projects are selected for offsetting. Carbon credits were then purchased from South African wind developer, Genesis Eco-Energy (Pty) Ltd., for the first major travel offset program by a government department. “It’s an exciting marketplace when you consider the need for power in South Africa and our need for financing,” said Davin Chown, Chief Operations Officer of Genesis Eco-Energy. “The sale of carbon credits to the UK will help provide us with financing for our wind project and will raise help raise awareness for further projects within the developing world and particularly Southern Africa.”

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