Right fuel, right fire, right flight

21 January 2008

Professor Jørgen Randers from BI Norwegian School of Management has come up with three environmental catchphrases.

These catchphrases  could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions: right fuel, right fire, right flight.

New ideas

Jørgen Randers was one of the first people to start becoming seriously worried about the threats facing the world and to say that there was a limit to how many greenhouse gas emissions it could tolerate. Several decades had to pass before the UN’s climate panel and most members of the population admitted that he was right.
Randers also led the government-appointed Commission on Low Emissions which produced proposals on the measures that could be taken by Norway to reduce emissions.

The three F-words

He is now challenging all of us to do our bit to reduce greenhouse gases. Here are his suggestions for three practical ways of doing this which will have an effect if we all follow them:

  1. Choose a car which is economical on fuel or use biofuel or another source of renewable energy.
  2. Avoid fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas for heating your house. 
  3. Pay a flight seat charge, which can be used to remove twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by each flight you make.

To help us remember these in our hectic everyday lives the professor of economics has formulated them into three F-phrases: right fuel, right fire, right flight.

At the same time, Randers also has a proposal which will allow us to fly as much as we like, while at the same time making a positive contribution to counteracting the threats to our climate:

“Let the passenger pay to remove double the amount of carbon dioxide released by each flight into the atmosphere.”

Fly more – with a good conscience

An aircraft seat charge could change air travel so that instead of being a scapegoat it is a positive force in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions: the more you fly, the less carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere.

Randers thinks it is unrealistic to urge people to fly less in a modern consumer society. Nor does he think we will be able to find any kind of aircraft technology that does not produce emissions of greenhouse gases.

According to Randers, the aircraft seat charge solution is surprisingly cheap. All that is required in order to remove twice the amount of emissions caused by a seat in a plane is to introduce an obligatory environmental charge of NOK 100 per passenger for each hour that is flown.

Randers does not hide the fact that most of us will have to make considerable efforts if we are to keep to the three Fs. He maintains that “Very few people today fill up their cars, heat their houses or take flights in ways that do not increase carbon dioxide emissions”.

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