Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Cayman urged to offset carbon footprints

| 17/09/2015 | 10 Comments

(CNS Business): Local businesses with a heavy carbon footprint struggling to reduce their emissions are being offered a local option for offsetting those greenhouse gases. A new partnership between the National Trust of the Cayman Islands and a local green energy company will help companies compensate for hard to eliminate emissions by contributing to local programmes, such as the school solar panel project, to help cut the greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere directly from the Cayman Islands.
CNS BusinessThe programme called “Island Offsets” will be launched on International Zero Emissions Day next Monday and organisers hope it will help cut the islands’ collective carbon footprint.

As a low lying nation, Cayman is vulnerable to climate change, especially sea level rise, but the country is also part of the problem with a significant carbon footprint comparable with major industrialized countries. The National Trust said that emissions can be cut by driving less, reducing energy consumption and buying local products but there are some emissions that are more difficult to eliminate, which can be offset instead.

In a press release about the creation of the new programme, the Trust stated that before its partnership with GreenTech, companies would have to look at global programmes to offset emissions. But with the new local carbon reduction programme, which can directly benefit the Cayman Islands, companies can mitigate their fossil fuel energy use through local schools or the Trust’s protection programmes.

The first campaign will be the “Pay it Forward” programme, in which companies invest their emission costs in solar panels for schools that will generate renewable energy, drive energy conservation and reduce utility costs. Based on a participating firm’s calculated carbon footprint, they can decide to offset all or a portion of their emissions.

Officials explained that the cost of this offset then funds a solar array, reducing the traditional energy use of a local school, leading to a net decrease in greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere. The solar panels on the school will also be linked to the science lab so that students can see renewable energy production in real time and use the array for a wide-range of lessons and projects.

“We are excited to be a part of the solution to a global problem through our Island Offsets programme,” said National Trust Executive Director Christina Pineda. “This programme is a service we have partnered with GreenTech to provide to the Cayman Islands and can be used by companies to help meet their local and global sustainability goals.”

The utility bill savings achieved by participating schools will be funnelled back into the school’s sustainability curriculum, with a portion being designated for the National Trust’s Land Reserve Fund to help the Trust purchase environmentally sensitive land. This fund ensures that vitally important forests will be protected in order for them to continue to capture and store carbon for years to come.

“As a part of our contribution to the Island Offsets programme, we will provide carbon management expertise and discounted design and installation of the solar arrays for participating schools, in conjunction with our very own ‘Project Green School’ programme, which we founded to educate kids about sustainability and renewable energy,” said GreenTech Group CEO James Whittaker.

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), comprising the world’s leading scientific experts in the field of climate change, the global climate is undergoing dramatic changes as the direct result of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities such as energy production.

Without effective action to reduce the levels of greenhouse gases released, countries worldwide are expected to face hotter temperatures, stronger storms, longer droughts, increased disease, sea level rise and economic disruption. If the world acts now to reduce emissions, however, it is still possible to slow the effects of climate change.

After the initial offering to companies, Island Offsets hopes to provide offsetting options to individuals for their residential and travel carbon footprints, and for the organizers of large events in the community.

For more information about Island Offsets call the National Trust at 749-1121, email cchilds@nationaltrust.org.ky or visit www.islandoffsets.org

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Category: Alternative Energy, Local Business, Technology

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s all a crock. CUC and hydrocarbons emissions have nothing to with global warming a small drop in the bucket.

    Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. [i]
    Fao.org. Spotlight: Livestock impacts on the environment.

    Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2e limit by 2030, all from raising animals.
    Oppenlander, Richard A. Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work. . Minneapolis, MN : Langdon Street, 2013. Print.

    Source: calculation is based on http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6294 analyses that 51% of GHG are attributed to animal ag.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes that right because of Cayman, the globe will get hotter. So you better go spend your money on solar panels…lots of them, and don’t be cheap, at least 50% of your annual income… the survival of the earth depends on it……..

    • Anonymous says:

      Wha wrong with unna people man? You all love that diesel black smoke puffing out cancer eh? Solar Panels pay for themselves after a couple years, then it’s the gift that keeps on giving. And yes, the survival of the Earth does depend on clean energy, or don’t you read?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’d start by removing the old trucks on island blowing black smoke as they pass you on the road.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The number of cars that I have been behind that have black smoke pouring out of their exhaust is shocking. Shocking that checking and preventing this is not done at the yearly inspection.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Does this extend to CUC’s carbon footprint? Or are they exempt?

    • Cho King Often says:

      To expect a utility nearly 100% dependent upon diesel generation to become a “green” company is oxymoronic, with heavy emphasis on the “moronic” portion!

      There are far better, more eco friendly and actually safer alternatives, but there are words contained in those alternatives that scare the bejeebers out of only the ignorant.

      There are “micro-nukes” that are PROVEN safe and three of the larger ones currently available could power these islands for 20 years at a cost of . . . . . about 3 CENTS a KWH!! Oh, but that would . . . . make sense, and we can’t have THAT!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well anyone with more than a pea for a brain can see where this is going. Couple this with Pope Francis’ visit to the USA next week and we have a recipe for a most unusual concoction.

    Allow me to prognosticate a little and say that the illustrious Pope will use his global platform to call for international and individual stewardship of our planet based on the detrimental effect of carbon dioxide emissions.

    Seeing that every person on the planet exhales carbon dioxide, he will say that we ALL need to be part of the solution. This may mean a carbon tax levied on every human being and organisation.

    Now for the interesting part. How is everyone going to pay? Simple answer. It will require the introduction of a new global digital currency, the kind that you transact with a microchip. (Watch out for soon to come massive stock market implosion.)

    This would explain why poor countries all over the world have fibre-optics everywhere. They cannot feed their population, but they have managed to lay fibre-optics all over their nations. Haiti, Cuba, Grenada, Nigeria, Kenya, etc, etc.

    How else can we integrate everyone into the New World Order? If I had said this a year or two ago, I would have been laughed off the forum. Fortunately, in this case, we will know in a matter of days. You can laugh at me then.

    The only other earth-shattering news that I can suggest is that the Pope will say that he has been in touch with little green men, although that may be a stretch right now, although he has said that he would be willing to baptize them “into the faith”. You could not make this stuff up. What a crazy world we live in, eh?

    Best wishes to everyone.

    Kharbunt Axayshun

  7. Reality says:

    Businesses are finding it hard to keep their doors open and staff employed and you want them to pay some other company for solar panels? You best wake up from lala land. On top of that, if the entire Cayman Islands became zero emissions, the global effect would be so small you could not measure it.
    If you truly believe that global warming will continue, thus causing sea level rise and potentially flooding the Cayman Islands, start collecting money to buy property somewhere with higher elevation for the people of the Cayman Islands to move to in the 100 years time when the islands are no longer habitable. It would be a much better use of financial resources.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So long as you use your money and not mine….

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