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Honda UK’s “While-U-Wait” Carbon Offsets for Civic Hybrid Buyers

2 August 2006

Civichybriduk
Civic Hybrid.

Honda UK has pledged to offset the CO2 emissions of Civic Hybrid customers until they take delivery of their new car.

The offer follows what Honda characterizes as “extraordinary” demand for the Civic Hybrid since its launch in the UK in April. Those ordering the cleaner, fuel-efficient Honda will have the carbon emissions from their current car offset with the help of The CarbonNeutral Company until they take delivery of the Hybrid car.

The CO2 will be offset through CarbonNeutral investment in a forestry project in Snowdonia National Park where the planting of native woodland absorbs CO2, and a Wind Power Generation project that creates power without the need to burn fossil fuels.

To date, 5,229 Civic hybrids have sold across Europe and 69,863 in the US as part of the total of 112,000 cars worldwide.

Honda’s CarbonNeutral offer started at the beginning of July. With an EPA combined fuel economy rating of 50 mpg US, the Civic Hybrid 109g/km of CO2 and is exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

DaimlerChrysler is also working with The CarbonNeutral company on carbon dioxide mitigation and offset plans for the smart ev. (Earlier post.)

August 2, 2006 in Climate Change, Europe, Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (1)

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Once again kudos to Honda. Honda and Toyota are leading the world in responsible transportation. To bad the same cannot be said for the domestics.

Jim:

You're not alone to realize that Toyota and Honda are doing more. Take a look at the July 2006 cars sales. Toyota & Honda up 10% and the Big 3 down 20 + %

Now if only the Civic Hybrid were offered in the awesome five-door version in the U.S. I'd trade my Neon quick-fast!

The wind power project doesn't create an entitlement for cars to produce CO2. This illogical thinking says windpower 'excuses' more CO2 whereas it should be a fixed or even a shrinking amount. Car buyers must live in a fantasy world when some drive miltary assault vehicles in the suburbs and others kid themselves into thinking they have no environmental impact.

Aussie, they aren't saying that it excuses more emissions in fact they are doing exactly what you say they are laving the emissions as they are and investing in other tech to reduce emissions elsewhere. This is a gimmick yes but it is a gimmick with a positive effect.

Mike
the argument would be valid if the wind farm displaced a fossil fuel plant so that CO2 emissions from cars + other emitters = constant. Under this idea CO2 can keep building up indefinitely with more wind farms.

While I'm at it I'm somewhat sceptical of tree planting credits. The predicted CO2 capture seems to assume ideal growth rates but weird weather, fire and disease make this questionable.

Wind power plants do displace CO2 producing plants. If the wind power plants weren't there more coal plans (etc.) would need to be built to take up that slack. At the very least plants burning things are burning less things if there is a turbine taking up some of the slack. Wind power doesn't just dissapear.

The only way to ensure that wind power is having a positive effect is to set overall carbon emission standards and stay under those standards. Otherwise, the additonal supply might just create additional demand.

I'm somewhat uncertain what positive impact these program really have but I buy offsets for my Prius anyway. The point, however, is that I bought my Prius first to reduce emissions vs other cars with worse gas mileage. I did not use carbon offsets as an excuse to buy a big vehicle.

I feel excited after I know the new-generation micro-hybrid which can be popular for the people to use on the cars.I have some problems about the engines, how does it work,what is the fuel for the engine, and how long will the new product last. Is there a branch in China. If I want to get much more information, how can i get.Because I am busy translate some data about the product from English into Chinese. Therefor i will encounter some problem about the technology, i just want to consult these questions.
THANKS
YOUR FAITHFULLY MIKE

Cultivation of trees does not sequest carbon for somehow significant period, and is GHG emission neutral. Sorry, treehuggers.

GHG neutral? What is all that about burning the trees along the Amazon releasing tons of CO2 into the atmosphere about? And is the term treehugger supposed to be disparaging? At least Honda is trying and this appeals to people who are concerned about the environment.

After initial period of growth, when some carbon sequestration occurs, forest reaches equilibrium in carbon intake/uptake. Massive reforestation which occurred and still occurring in Northern Hemisphere, especially in US/Canada, does not contribute to reduction of GHG emissions anymore. There are some publications suggesting that mature forest contribute more to GHG emissions due to emissions of CH4, 20+ times more potent greenhouse agent then CO2. To what kind of people such stunt is appealing – you decide.

Andrey:
Which publications is the CH4 info from? I am curious to learn a bit more...

Bill:

There were some fragmented publications here and there. From the top of the head:
http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/CarbonCycle.html

and scroll down to “methane”. Aside from CH4 derived from plants metabolism, there always are some part of plant material which rot in lack of oxygen and hence produces CH4. Even if it is small amount, considering that plants consume CO2 almost exclusively and CH4 is 21-23 times more powerful GHG agent then CO2, equilibrium could be slightly offset. Once again, it is very vague and under researched part of ecology, especially because traditionally biologists measured carbon balance only, without regard to GHG potential of each carbon carrying chemical. Situation with wetlands is even more murky.

Nature = complex , But plants do consume CO2.
If grownup plants and trees (and there rotting produce) do not contribute enough to natures balance, perhaps we should grow more plants and trees for the production of food, building materials and bio fuels.

One of the best ways you can use trees to sequester carbon, is to build a house! Not only does a timber frame house produce less CO2 in its manufacture, as long as the house stands the CO2 remains trapped, and this can be hundreds of years. Of course this benefit is only acheived if another tree is planted in its place and that is where the funding from carbon offsets comes into play, encouraging re-afforestation or protection of standing forest.

Julian

In fact the UK company Future Forests pays carbon offset fees to land owners who plant trees, equating to around £380/ha ($250/ac). The payment varies according to how quickly the trees grow and hence how much carbon they capture. There are also certain conditions that must be met including that the land remains wooded for at least 99 yrs.

As for the EU, check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Mediterranean_Renewable_Energy_Cooperation
_
If plans go ahead, it could lead to mass conversion to affordable electric/plugin electric hybrid cars in Europe. If waste heat is taped, it might lead to the greening of the Sahara.

Building a house only holds carbon if you don't burn fossil fuels to maintain it.

Apologies in advance for the preachiness. The stuff is already accelarating towards the fan with regards to the environment as everyone here may appreciate.
Perhaps Honda's (and Toyota's) environmental focus can better be served in creating a bandage rather then a cure. Forget the alternate power generation promotion. For-profit utility companies will always have more money and competency to do a better job at rolling out fields of solar or wind arays with mounting pressure from the public/government. Besides, they are seen to be equally as large a contributor to GHG compared to autos.

Instead, Honda should throw money towards research into heavily DNA agmented plants, ie - serious experiments in DNA manipulation at molecular level, not crossbreeding various plants to get better ones like peope have been doing for thousands of years. Scienists need to create a fast spreading CH4 nutral odity capable of surviving in deserts and tuntra regions away from our expanding population. It must suck CO2 and CH4 and be capable of hybernating when there is none around instead of dying (possibly by feeding on solar radiation).
May not even be a plant. A fungus perhaps or some form of moss. It has been drummed in to our heads from the beggining by misguided futurists and scare mongers that serious genetic manipulation is the devil.
Well I say science has to put its foot in the murcky pond again like they did in the past on questionable technologies because as per usual we have no choice.

A serious contribution towards this science would go a long way. If such a solution existed at least it would solve our immediate thron in the side. Car companies would still go at it regardless because oil would still diminish forcing them to release better fuel economy vehicles and keep their sales up.

i love hondas!

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