The Facts

Latest reports about global warming predict a temperature rise of up to 5.8 degrees in the next 100 years, sea level rises by up to 88cm and water shortages affecting over 5billion people within 25 years - up from just over 1 billion now. The build up of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, is the problem. Over 22 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted annually from the combustion of fossil fuels and around 6.5 billion tonnes from deforestation.

The immense scale of global warming often makes individuals (even businesses) feel impotent. But each of us, every day produces carbon dioxide - from cooking, to watching TV, to driving. Take a website example. The projected 2 million minutes spent by 100k visitors surfing the Pink Floyd or Future Forests website will require 4,667 kWh of electricity, emitting an equivalent of 2.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
As an overview, here are the average annual emissions figures for people around the world:

Europe
9.3 tonnes CO²/person
USA
21.3 tonnes CO²/person
Africa
1.1 tonnes CO²/person
Asia
2.3 tonnes CO²/person
World
3.9 tonnes CO²/person

It's clear that we all have the power to deal global warming. Part of the solution is dealing emissions at source: we could switch to renewable energy (eg wind) rather than fossil fuels; we can reduce - even turning off your TV at night rather than leaving it on stand-by would save around 30% of the energy that TV uses each day. Have a look at energy saving tips for ways in which you can tread more lightly on the planet.

Trees

Trees reabsorb carbon dioxide and convert it into wood and oxygen. At the same time, native trees of the type planted by Future Forests, help improve visual landscape and wildlife habitat, and promote biodiversity
In the same way that you can quantify the energy savings by turning off your TV, it is possible to quantify the CO2 which can be absorbed by a particular number of trees.

Some forestry facts
    •    In 3000 BC, 85% of the UK's area was covered by woodland - that figure has now shrunk to 1.5% of the total land area.
    •    Trees, as they grow, absorb carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen (which is released back into the atmosphere) and carbon (stored in the form of wood) - approximately 50% of the dry weight of a tree comprises of carbon taken out of the atmosphere.
    •    On average 3 trees planted with Future Forests will offset the CO² emissions apportioned to an individual taking a long haul air flight.
    •    On average 5 trees* planted with Future Forests will offset the emissions from driving your car 12,000 miles.

More information

You can also be involved in saving carbon emissions. It only takes a few minor changes to make massive reductions. Take a look at the energy efficiency pages for more information on the part you can play in helping your environment.

NB - This is an estimated calculation: ?The projected 2 million minutes spent by the 100,000 visitors surfing the Pink Floyd website will require 4,667 kWh of electricity, emitting an equivalent of 2.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This can be absorbed over the growing life of at least 3 trees.

*All tree figures are estimates. The actual number of trees planted to offset amounts of CO² depends upon factors such as species and geography.

Last Updated (Monday, 02 November 2009 14:01)