BP has launched a UK program to offset the CO2 emissions caused by driving. Called targetneutral, the non-profit initiative allows drivers to calculate the cost of the annual CO2 reduction required to make their vehicle CO2 neutral.
Road transport accounts for 22% of UK CO2 emissions. An average car, driven 10,000 miles in a year, generates approximately four tonnes of CO2. To neutralize this amount of carbon emissions via www.targetneutral.com will cost around £20 (US$37.80) a year.
The scheme has been developed in consultation with leading NGOs and will be advised and monitored by an independent Advisory and Assurance Panel chaired by Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future. The Panel comprises Professor David Begg, Chairman of Tube Lines; Rita Clifton, Chairman of Interbrand; Steve Koonin, BP’s Chief Scientist; Peter Mather, BP’s Head of Country, UK; Ed Mayo, CEO National Consumer Council; Charles Secrett, Independent Advisor and former Director Friends of the Earth; Tim Smit, CEO The Eden Project; Professor Kathy Sykes, Professor of Public Engagement in Science & Engineering, Bristol University.
The scientific consensus on climate change is overwhelming: we need to take radical action now if we are to avoid catastrophic consequences. We all have a responsibility to take up that challenge in our own lives, at home, work or as motorists. For this reason, Forum for the Future is very supportive of what BP is doing through targetneutral. The scheme should help raise awareness of the links between driving and climate change. Helping everyone get more carbon literate is something that all oil companies will need to commit to in the very near future.—Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future and Chairman of the targetneutral Advisory and Assurance Panel
To use targetnetural, motoroists log on and calculate the fuel used each year and the CO2 emissions generated. The calculator then determines the financial contribution needed to buy the CO2 reduction to neutralize these emissions. By registering their Nectar card, drivers can trigger a BP contribution every time they use their card when buying fuel at a BP forecourt.
All targetneutral members’ money, apart from VAT and payment transaction costs, buys CO2 emission reductions via the purchase of carbon credits. BP takes nothing from the scheme members&rsuqo; contribution.
BP will make a direct contribution to targetneutral when motorists who are signed up to the scheme register and use their Nectar Card when they buy fuel at a BP forecourt. The BP contribution is calculated per liter and is up to 10p (US$0.19) per tank for regular fuels and up to 20p (US$0.39) per tank for lower CO2-emitting BP Ultimate fuels. BP has 1 million customers per day in the UK.
The money generated by targetneutral goes to a portfolio of CO2 reduction projects including alternative and renewable energy. Initially there are five projects including a biomass energy plant in Himachal Pradesh; a wind farm in Karnataka, India and an animal waste management and methane capture program in Mexico. As targetneutral grows, more projects will be added.
Procedures to ensure the projects’ integrity are modelled on those created by the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) for emissions reduction projects developed under the Kyoto Protocol. All project activity is overseen by the targetneutral Advisory and Assurance Panel.