Experts suggest citizens buy CO² certificates

Four young energy experts want to convince citizens to compensate for their CO² emissions by buying certificates, so industry can no longer have access to them.

They launched their appeal as part of a campaign called Carbon+Alt+Delete, the Het Belang van Limburg reported on Friday. “This is a clever initiative to help reduce emissions”, says Flemish association Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL).

To encourage companies to reduce their Greenhouse gas emissions, the European Union has created a carbon market with emission quotas. Companies receive or buy them, and can exchange them according to their needs. But the low price and number of quotas available has made the system inefficient.

Four experts, including three researchers from KU Leuven, want to offer citizens the possibility to buy quotas too. This would force companies to make more of an effort. They launched an association called Carbon+Alt+Delete this year. Citizens can compensate for their CO² emissions by buying certificates through, after a flight for example.

BBL says an initiative like this could work. A similar project has already been launched in the UK, and the idea is mentioned in a Dutch government agreement. An average family emits around 11 tons of CO² per year. Certificates currently cost 6.96 euros per ton. Compensating for a family’s emissions would therefore cost around 76.56 euros for a whole year.

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