clear the air

Saving Energy When You Travel: Cars

Try to combine trips in the car.

Several short trips begun when the engine is cold creates unnecessary air pollution.


Saving Energy in the Home: Microwave

When heating a small meal, use a microwave as they use substantially less energy than a conventional oven.

Saving Energy in the Home: Computer

When next buying a computer, consider a laptop as they use considerably less power than a desktop.

Also, be sure to unplug the computer when it’s not in use, as 75% of the power used by home electronics is when the unit is turned off but still plugged in.

Carbon Off-Setting

Marquette Turner has committed to offsetting carbon omissions from the travelling we do and we have been thrilled to use the new carbon offset facility when booking flights through Qantas (Virgin Blue offer a similar scheme).

The amount of carbon produced for each flight is calculated and for only a couple of dollars (depending on where you are travelling) you can offset your emissions and do your bit for the planet.

Simon Turner introduced the “Clear The Air” strategy into our company early in 2007 and Marquette Turner’s commitment to carbon offsets is just one area in which “Clear The Air” aims to improve the environment.

We also have strict policies around the type of paper we use, preferring recycled products wherever possible. We also avoid mass mail outs and restrict the amount we print to help do what we can to create a greener world. 

Our Year 2020 home competition will be held for the first time in 2008 and will involve Primary School children coming up with the best concept and design for a green home of the future. We are incredibly excited and look forward to releasing full details in the new year.

Australians Named Worst Emitters

A study of the world’s power stations has shown the extent to which developed countries produce more carbon dioxide per head than emerging economies.

Australians were found to be the world’s worst polluters per capita, producing five times as much carbon from generating power as China. The US came second with eight tonnes of carbon per head – 16 times more than that produced by India. The US also produced the most carbon in total, followed by China.

The Carbon Monitoring for Action (Carma) website is the first global inventory of emissions and looks at 50,000 power stations. Its data was compiled by the Center for Global Development, a US think-tank.

Carma points out that while US power plants emit the most CO2, releasing 2.5bn tonnes into the atmosphere each year, Australian power stations are the least efficient on a per capita basis, with emissions of 10 tonnes, compared with the US’s 8.2 tonnes. China’s power sector emits the second-highest total amount of carbon dioxide, pumping 2.4bn tonnes of the gas into the atmosphere annually. However, its emissions are only one fifth of Australia’s when measured on a per capita basis.

Kevin Ummel, a research assistant at the Center for Global Development, hoped the online inventory would help the push towards a low carbon future.

CO2 EMISSIONS PER CAPITA Australia – 10.0 tonnesUS – 8.2 tonnesUK – 3.2 tonnesChina – 1.8 tonnes

India – 0.5 tonnes

(Source: Carma/CGD)

Australia’s Environmental Up-Hill Challenge

The great news is that Australia has ratified the Kyoto protocol and it will come into effect in March 2008.

The less positive news, as announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is that Australia will almost certainly fail to meet the modest greenhouse gas emissions target set for it.

Australia is likely to “overshoot” by 1% its target of keeping emissions to no more than 8% above 1990 levels.

The revelation means Australia could have to agree to make even bigger cuts to emissions in the post-Kyoto framework which is currently in the very early stages of negotiation at the UN conference on climate change in Bali.

Australia needs to accept that a big step up will be required under the post-2012 framework. 
The Kyoto targets as they stand are very low compared to the scale of the challenge ahead of us.

Australia must demonstrate how such an energy intensive country, and indeed the worst emitters per capita in the world can retain its prosperity by being smarter and more efficient in industry, in energy efficiency, cleaner fuels and renewable energy. Simon Turner

KYOTO: in Layman’s Terms

With all the talk of the Kyoto Protocol, particularly during Australia’s Federal Election with John Howard belatedly stating that he would ratify this agreement that stems from the 1990’s, and now Prime Minister Kevin Rudd having beaten Howard to it, I thought it would be worth summing up what the differing positions are/have been:

Those that have ratified Kyoto:

Kyoto sets target emissions on the basis that all countries have “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

This is essentially jargon for the idea that rich countries must cut their emissions of greenhouse gases, while poor ones carry on as normal unless the rich world pays for them to clean up their act.  The Kyoto Protocol’s successor is currently being debated in Bali for when it expires in 2012.

Those that haven’t ratified Kyoto:

The United States remains the only first world country not to have ratified Kyoto, following PM Rudd’s signing of the treaty.

President Bush’s implicit message is that binding emissions targets are counter-productive, and that any solution must involve poor countries as well as rich ones.

The US ultimately believes that disseminating green technology is more positive and productive in the long-term.

My belief is that everyone is part of the problem meaning that everyone must be part of the solution. The US is correct in insisting that green technologies must be promoted, but this must occur at the same time as capping emmissions. Whilst I feel that all countries should be required to conform to the same standards (Kyoto does not require this), at present the Kyoto Protocol is the best mechanism with which the global community has to work with.

Therefore, being a signatory to Kyoto will allow Australia more input in ensuring that from 2012 onwards the global mechanism in place is more equitable and more abided by.
Simon Turner