(photo: Newquay Cornwall Airport)
Fri 21 Aug 2009 – Newquay Cornwall Airport, located in England’s far southwest, says it is the first in the UK to introduce a carbon offsetting scheme that will cover all terminal and airfield operations. A new fund is being set up which will receive an annual payment from the airport that will enable it to achieve carbon-neutral status, five years ahead of a commitment made in its Masterplan published in June this year. The airport, owned by Cornwall Council, has entered into an agreement with the Eden Project, a well-known Cornish eco attraction in which plant species from around the world are grown in giant greenhouses, or biomes.
The offsets, provided by Eden Project’s partnership with ClimateCare, are in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in developing countries.
Carolyn Rule, Cornwall Council cabinet member for the economy, said: “By making the airport’s operations carbon neutral five years ahead of schedule, we are demonstrating our intention to develop the airport sustainably and providing a model for other airports in the UK and Europe to follow.
“I am keen to see the airport go from strength to strength because of the significant contribution it can make to the growth of Cornwall’s economy, and this announcement shows the strength of the airport’s resolve in ensuring that growth is delivered responsibly.”
Mark Beeley, Eden Project’s Retail Director, said: “The Eden Project Climate Fund was developed to do more than other, more traditional carbon offset schemes. At Eden we call this ‘offset plus’ because it combines investment in certified carbon reduction projects around the world, along with investment in education and other projects, which will contribute to a low-carbon future for all of us.”
As well as the verified offsets, the airport is paying for a pioneering scheme, managed by Community Energy Plus (CEP), which will provide top-up funding for government grants so that around 50 Cornish households will be insulated for free in 2010.
Chris Cain, Project Director for the airport, said: “We are very pleased that Eden and CEP have been able to devise a way of meeting one of our key environmental objectives ahead of schedule and are delighted to be partnering with them. We are also grateful for the advice that Cornwall Development Company’s Low Carbon Unit has been able to provide in what is a developing funding area and in helping to find the right partners for us to work with.
“Although the details of the fund’s operation are still being finalized, we expect it to come into operation at the beginning of October, with a first funding contribution being made at the end of the financial year.”
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