Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Norway lays down a challenge to Melbourne City Council

Greens challenged to bring in quotas on thier green house gas travel

Norway has decided to place quotas on green house gas emissions generated by public servants travelling the globe on public taxes. Something we think Melbourne City Council should also adopt.

Melbourne City Council is renowned for its glob trotting Councillors and Staff seeking overseas five-star luxury holidays at ratepayers expenses. The City of Melbourne is set to top the Overseas holiday expenses yet again this year. The previous City Council, under the leadership of John So, spent over 1 Million dollars in overseas travel.

Greens Councillor, Frazer Brindley managed to talk the City Council into funding travel expenses related to his executive position held an international environment confest organisation. he was elected to the ICLIE executive ion the basis that the City Council would foot the bill for all travel costs.. Why the Council is funding a third party's executive governance cost is anyone guess.

No restrictions when it comes to the City Council's overseas holidays and South African Safaris. Cr Brindley's African sunset tour last year generated around 60% of the annual Co2 emissions for an average family car so he could attend an ICLIE executive meeting. Why could they not have arrange an Internet hook-up to discuss their corporate governance is anyone guess.

Executive travel and international "Confests" are big business and generate significant Green house gas emissions whilst pumping the brave new world of international corporate tourism .

So much to the Greens commitment to fiscal and environmental responsibility.

Come January 1 Public commuters have been hit with a congestion tax to help fund the City Council's Travel budget and their new competitive busting Tourist bus whilst public transport users are left waiting for a ride.

In the meantime Melbourne's "Car Free Council still refuses to publish the costs associated wit the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayors Limousine. The City Council continues to hide the costs associated with the lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayors limos.

Shame Fraser Shame.

Norway to buy greenhouse quotas
Norway plans to offset the greenhouse gases caused by state employees' flights abroad by buying emissions quotas to help combat global warming, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.

His office said Norway was probably the first country in the world to buy such quotas.

"The government has decided that when state employees travel by plane abroad, we will buy quotas for the emissions caused by the trip," Stoltenberg said in a New Year speech.

"We want to set an example. We hope that companies, organisations and other countries will follow," he said.

Emissions by planes on international flights are excluded from the goals of the UN's Kyoto Protocol, a plan that binds 35 rich nations to cut emissions from burning oil, coal and natural gas by five per cent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.

Stoltenberg did not say how much his plan would cost.

Norway's NTB news agency estimated the cost at about $US400,000 ($A508,000) a year.

Most scientists say emissions from burning oil, coal and natural gas are to blame for a global rise in temperatures that may wreak havoc with the climate by causing more floods, desertification, heatwaves, spreading disease and raising sea levels.

Some companies, including Norway's oil group Statoil, already have similar policies of paying for emissions caused by employees' flights.

According to the Carbon Neutral Company, a passenger travelling one way from Oslo to Washington would account for emissions of 0.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

It suggests a compensating investment of about $US12 ($A15.24) in windmills or planting trees.

"In many parts of the country we have had the warmest autumn and winter months for 100 years," Stoltenberg said.

"We notice it in our daily lives - skis are standing unused. Children are not making snowmen. Researchers say polar bears are threatened."

2007 - Reuters

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