Blog: Dave LeggettCO2 offsetting

Dave Leggett | 6 March 2007

I am not sure I totally 'get' carbon offsetting. Compensation of this type sounds and is a good idea in principle. Take that long flight or drive an SUV and plant some CO2 producing plants to cover your dirty behaviour. Great. No harm done.

But what about having less of the negative side of the equation and getting a CO2 plus rather than just cancelling out to be carbon neutral.

I don't think anyone quite gets the moral high ground by trashing the environment and then taking some kind of compensatory action. If I crapped in your garden and said I'd happily clean up the mess, would that make it okay? 

It's a bit like the idea of rich countries that don't want to change their lifestyles preferring to buy carbon 'credits' off poorer countries. It leaves a slightly bad taste. The overall net benefit could be bigger if the polluter modified their behaviour too.

There's just a danger of a mindset developing more generally that it's okay to pollute as long as some kind of compensatory action or gesture is taken.

It is tough for Land Rover though. You can understand why they feel a need to be seen to be doing something like this. But even then, it rather flags the issue to the customer when maybe you don't want to do that if you can possibly help it. Tricky one. I guess it's a sign that people at Land Rover are anticipating some rough seas ahead.

GENEVA: Land Rover announces CO2 offset projects


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