Mon 5 Dec 2016 – GE Australia has joined the Qantas Future Planet programme, in which the airline manages carbon offset portfolios for its corporate customers and providing them with access to more than 40 certified offset projects in Australia and overseas. Most of GE’s offsetting is expected to support Australia-based projects that have significant community benefits as well as reducing carbon emissions, such as the North Kimberley fire abatement project lead by native title groups in Western Australia. Other major organisations that have signed up for the airline’s corporate partnership programme, which is an extension of the voluntary carbon offsetting offered to passengers, include international law firm Allens, Destination NSW and Ernst & Young.
“This is a logical next step in the really strong relationship we have with GE. GE’s big data team is already helping us fly more efficiently by analysing and improving our engine performance, so we’re delighted to be extending the partnership by helping them offset their emissions when they travel with us.
“It’s the kind of collaborative approach that’s going to be so important in helping achieve aviation’s ambitious targets in responding to climate change.”
Added Max York, General Manager of GE Aviation in Australia: “Everyone has a responsibility to preserve our planet for future generations, including government, business and individuals. We’re excited to be a foundation partner in a programme which will deliver real environmental benefits for Australians.”
Qantas claims the programme is the largest of its kind in the world, having offset over 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 since it started in 2009.
Qantas pledges to purchase only third-party verified offsets accredited under Australia’s National Carbon Offset Standard, and going beyond accreditation requirements by measuring the social as well environmental impact of projects. The airline says the projects meet strict international standards, including the Verified Carbon Standard and the Gold Standard.
The North Kimberley area is prone to extreme wildfires and indigenous land owners are using traditional fire management techniques, such as early-season dry burns, to prevent uncontrolled fires and so reduce carbon emissions.
Other projects supported under the Qantas programme include April Salumei in Papua New Guinea, which is home to 163 local communities dependent upon rainforest that supports an array of wildlife and ecosystems and is considered one of the ten most important biodiversity hotspots on earth. Papua New Guinea, which is one of the 66 countries to sign up for the initial voluntary phase of the ICAO CORSIA scheme, contains over 5% of the world’s biodiversity in less than 1% of world’s total land area. The offsetting programme also includes protection of a 7,000-hectare native temperate forest in Tasmania and a project to distribute fuel-efficient and healthier cooking stoves to Cambodian families.
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