Tag: European Union

In Europe, Straighter Flight Paths Could Cut Costs and CO2

In Europe, Straighter Flight Paths Could Cut Costs and CO2 Photo by moogs via Flickr (Creative Commons

About 3 percent of Europe’s CO2 output comes from airlines, which use up tons of fuel by zig-zagging between the national airspaces of the 27 member-states, Reuters reports. This week, EU lawmakers in Strasbourg agreed to the Single European Sky II plan that would save billions of euros in costs by modernizing air traffic management, straightening flight paths and streamlining the 27 airplaces to nine by June 2012.

The move could help the EU cut CO2 emissions to a fifth below 1990 levels by 2020. Could it also making flying the European skies faster and more pleasant?


About Mr. Brown’s Carbon Footprint ...

About Mr. Brown’s Carbon Footprint ... Photo by Irargerich via Flickr (Creative Commons).
Photo by Irargerich via Flickr (Creative Commons).

The French environmental magazine Terra Eco says British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is accountable for more CO2 from domestic and international plane travel than many of his European counterparts. Using data from journalists and aviation experts, Terra Pass calculated that Brown’s plane trips kicked out around 8,400 tons of CO2. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s air travel produced 7,400 tons, French President Nicolas Sarkozy made 7,100 tons and Spanish Prime Minister Josť Luis Rodriguez Zapatero created 6,700 tons.

Terra Eco said it focused on leaders who have a professed interest in environmental issues, leaving Mr. Brown the least green of them all. An interesting tidbit: Sarkozy had a smaller carbon footprint despite traveling more than twice as many miles as Brown. Why? Sarkozy traveled on a small and more efficient Airbus A319 instead of Boeing 747, 757 and 777 planes favored by Brown.

I’m pretty sure any U.S. president flying on Air Force One jets (Boeing 747 models) would flunk this test.


The Agritourists and Locavores Will Love This

The Agritourists and Locavores Will Love This Photo by ILoveButter via Flickr (Creative Commons).
Photo by ILoveButter via Flickr (Creative Commons).

Because it would be very satisfying to eat the vegetables you picked at that small and lovely pesticide-free farm during your vacation in, say, Crete or France or Spain and think that maybe you did a tiny little bit to save the planet from global warming.

Organic farms got a big eco-shout-out last week from the European Union’s commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Mariann Fischer Boel, who lauded them as “ammunition against the problem of climate change.” As The New York Times’ James Kanter noted, organic farming often produces fewer emissions than conventional agriculture because it uses fewer fertilizers and leaves soil more stable and better able to hold water.

I’m wondering if organic farms that double as eco-vacations spots may see an awesome branding opportunity here.


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