Air travel is a major contributor to climate change. Offsets are a small part of a larger solution.
Today at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) we are launching the Climate Passport program allowing travelers to offset the impact of their air travel through an airport kiosk. This will be the world’s first airport kiosk—giving people the opportunity to calculate the environmental impact of their flights and purchase carbon offsets to address that impact while at the airport.
Where does the money go? The City has conducted extensive research on each project supported by the program to ensure that all carbon offsets are sourced from a specific project that results in real, quantifiable, permanent greenhouse gas emission reductions.
The offsets for Climate Passport customers, supplied by San Francisco based carbon firm 3Degrees, are currently sourced from the Garcia River Forest, a conservation-based forest management project located in Mendocino County, California. Formerly a heavily cut forest, this project is helping bring back Redwood and Douglas fir trees to the Garcia River Forest. As a result, huge amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) are absorbed and stored, and native habitats are restored and protected. Offsets from the Garcia River Forest Project are third-party verified against the Climate Action Reserve’s rigorous, transparent and comprehensive forestry protocol.
A portion of the offset sales will also go to the San Francisco Carbon Fund, helping to develop local San Francisco carbon reduction projects. The first project supported by the fund is Dogpatch Biofuels, San Francisco’s only publicly-owned biodiesel filling station. It is estimated the Dogpatch project will reduce as much as 660,000 pounds of CO2 in its first year of operation. Offsets will also help to pay for the planting of urban trees in San Francisco.
Knowing the climate impact of travel is a good first step. Taking actions like using public transportation or opting to ride a bicycle when you can is important. For the times when we have to fly, balancing your climate footprint by supporting high quality carbon reduction projects will help California in its fight against climate change.
Look for the new Climate Passport kiosks post-security on both sides of the International Terminal and in Terminal 3 at SFO.