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You are here: Home / News / EEA offsets emissions by funding 'Gold Standard' carbon projects

EEA offsets emissions by funding 'Gold Standard' carbon projects

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Setting a trend in the way organisations deal with their carbon footprints, the European Environment Agency has introduced its own carbon offsetting scheme. The Agency bought EUR 13 500 carbon offsets corresponding to 673 tonnes of CO2 emissions for its air travel in 2006. This sum covers both air travel of staff attending meetings and conferences outside Denmark and invited guests coming to the Agency.

Atmosfair, a German carbon project initiative supported by the German Federal Environment Ministry, was awarded a 4-year contract to run the scheme. The carbon offsets bought by the Agency result from investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects recognised under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI). All these projects are distinguished by the Gold Standard, a label receiving worldwide recognition and officially supported by 38 environmental and development organisations. Current projects financed with Atmosfair funds include for example solar kitchens for hospitals and schools in India, and hydraulic rams for zero emission irrigation in China. The solar kitchen project uses parabolic solar collectors to provide energy for the daily preparation of thousands of meals in 18 large rice kitchens in India. Total savings of 4 000 tonnes of CO2 from this particular project are expected by 2012, and 20 new jobs will be created. This project was registered at the UNFCCC in August 2006.

The Agency's new carbon credit scheme is one component of its overall Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), which seeks to minimise the environmental impacts of the Agency's activities.

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