A carbon compensation program for aircraft, the first of its kind, is now available for general aviation aircraft.
The Bend, Ore.-based Carbon Neutral Plane Program certifies that participating airplanes have compensated 100% for the carbon dioxide (CO2) they release into the air by financially supporting verified projects aimed at reducing the equivalent amount of CO2 from other energy uses. Compensation is accomplished through purchasing carbon offsets from verified projects and programs.
“As a pilot with strong environmental concerns, I realized there was a substantial need to decrease carbon footprints in the aviation industry,” said Jeffrey G. Witwer, Ph.D., founder of the Carbon Neutral Plane Program. “Members of our program will have a cost-effective, real-world opportunity to mitigate the impact of personal and corporate aircraft emissions on the environment.”
Two versions of the program are available: one tailored to the needs of business aircraft owners and the other designed for owners of personal aircraft.
The program operates as a buyers’ “cooperative” where participants pay an annual, prorated membership fee. Carbon Neutral Plane purchases offsets at zero markup for the member (other than any associated transaction costs) from high-quality offset providers. High volume purchases, such as those made by Carbon Neutral Plane, would correspond to around 5 cents per gallon of aviation fuel at today’s market prices, according to Witwer.
Carbon offsetting includes purchasing carbon credits to support various projects such as wind farm development, methane recovery or reforestation efforts and purchasing carbon financial instruments from the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world’s first greenhouse gas emission reduction and trading system, Witwer says.
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