According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the SFO airport has now installed carbon offset purchase kiosks so that you can remove the guilt from your flight. Only one problem. The carbon offsets sold by kiosk sell at a rate that is about 60 times what carbon credits are actually selling for on the market now. There’s no frequent flyer polluter discount either.
Here’s what the kiosk start screen looks like according to the company website:
You can run the kiosk interactively yourself here. Let’s say you chose the “Use Typical Flight Distances” option. This is the screen you’d get:
If I chose the medium range flight at 2000 miles, the cost would be 11.44 for 1869 pounds of CO2 that is estimated to be emitted on my behalf. That works out to about $12.24 per ton of CO2.
Here’s the rub, you can buy a ton of carbon offset on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) for 20 cents. That’s about 60 times less than what you would pay at the SFO kiosk!
Here’s the closing numbers from CCX yesterday:
From CCX: Price and volume reported in metric tons CO2. Change based on previous day’s closing price.
P.T. Barnum would be proud.
UPDATE: Maybe they set the price last year during early planning when carbon was at $7 per ton?
It appears there was a big selloff last Friday, when investors got wind of a major suspension by the UN before it hit the press. On Sept 11th, there were 292,500 transactions (largest in over a month) and the price fell from the previous day closing price of 25 cents:
The Sunday Times has the story:
The legitimacy of the $100 billion (£60 billion) carbon-trading market has been called into question after the world’s largest auditor of clean-energy projects was suspended by United Nations inspectors.
No wonder carbon offsets are falling to 20 cents a ton. Coal is still much more valuable at 40-50 dollars a ton.