World Organic Congress Attendees Offered Carbon Levy

The 15th International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) is underway in Adelaide, South Australia. And it what is believed to be a first for an Australian event, the 1,000 delegates from 40 countries, were offered the voluntary option of paying off their energy use to attend the conference. Thousands of natives trees are expected to planted following the event, funded through a carbon levy. Greenfleet have calculated that a visitor from Sydney is worth 2.5 trees, while an international attendee needs the equivalent of 17 trees to absorb the carbon dioxide in their transport to Adelaide. Apparently “the carbon dioxide produced by a return flight from Europe is the equivalent to a person's average car use for one year.“ Let’s hope this is a trend that other conferences can pick up on. While there remains some debate over the effectiveness of carbon offset programs, they certainly help participants consider the impact of their travel. And awareness is the first step on the road of behavioural change. Credit to the organic industry for yet again taking the lead. ::IFOAM 2005

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