Skip to main content

Official Travel: Carbon Emission Offsets

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 13 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Davies of Oldham on 15 June (WA 41), whether they will describe, including the measurable element, the Department for Transport's scheme to offset carbon emissions generated by its Ministers and officials while undertaking official travel; whether the scheme includes forms of transport other than air travel; how and on what date the details of the scheme were communicated to officials within the department likely to use it; and how many times the scheme has been used since its introduction.[HL6496]

The Department for Transport is participating in, and contributed to, the development of a scheme to enable government departments to offset the carbon impacts of their air travel from April 2006. Investment through a Government Carbon Offsetting Fund will replace or reduce the use of fossil fuels and the subsequent emissions of carbon dioxide and compensate for the carbon dioxide released by air travel. The department will calculate its annual offset requirements based upon air travel cost and distance data for the year, multiplied by a factor of two to reflect the fact that the impact of aviation on climate change is increased over that of direct carbon dioxide emissions alone by some of the other emissions released and their specific effects at altitude. The scheme covers air travel from April 2006. Staff were notified in May through the department’s in-house magazine.