In the chat room
Welcome to IWC chat on 18 February 2008
hi susan: you can see i have logged in
The topic today is “Taking Responsibility for
One’s Carbon Emissions.”
Till others join in, would you like to say
something by way of introdn?
Do you mean the topic, or me?
About the topic and how you came to be
interested in it
I am an environmental scientist by training,
so naturally I am interested in environmental work.
But what I realized after attending many meetings and
attending several seminars is that a lot of people
talk about the environment but do not believe in
taking responsibility for their actions. Hence I got
interested in this topic.
I believe in starting with myself: therefore I
take responsibility for all the carbon dioxide
emissions that result from my life-style--be it air
or road travel, energy consumption, and so forth.
I am also interested in this topic can i have
any info regarding a core research doing by any
I am not sure what kind of research you are
Hi D'Silva I am a concerned citizen, would
like to do my bit for reducing my own carbon
footprint, any suggestions?
Sure Shashi. There are quite a few things you
can do, apart from the usual ones--such as use public
transport, turn off electrical appliances at the end
of the day, and so forth. The first step you should
take is to find out your carbon footprint, if you
have not done this already.
and how does one calculate one's footprint?
Hello All, Hi Susan!
There are any number of websites where you
can check--for example, carbonfootprint.com is one of
thank you dsilva I will unfortunately I need
to sign out for another call
Hello everyone, this is Clinton from
GreenGoa... logging in from coldish Stockholm
I have some work to save trees from being
felled for developmental work. I am not against
development but only want to see it to be a little
Can some one tell me about carbon credits?
There is a ton of material on carbon credits
on the internet. You could probably start with the
basics on Wikipedia
this christmas, i received a
christmas present which was a certificate stating
that 1 tonne of co2 was offset as a compensation to
my flights from goa to stockholm and back
Hi to doc dsilva...are there any
scientifically referenced methods for calculating
one's C footprint?
I have saved over 90000 trees from being
felled for construction of the Tehri Dam tranmission
line. Do you think I can earn carbon credits for this
Internet info can sometimes be too
overwhelming- Someone like you can put it in simple
@dabral..but then how are they doing
it..without the transmission lines?
while i know that one can buy credits
to offset carbon emissions, is it possible to earn
credits by growing trees, replacing to low energy
bulbs, so that there is also a financial benefit to
DEFRA--the British government agency--is
aiming to standardize all the calculations relating
to air travel as different calculators often give
Saving trees unfortunately may not earn you
carbon credit. Carbon credit is a bit complicated.
You have to prove a series of things--eg, that the
emission reduction is real, that the methodology used
to do the calculation is proven, that the claims have
been verified independently, and so forth
yes... Dr. D'Silva.. I read about
that... but do you think that carbon credits are an
easy way for a rich person to pay off his guilt about
consuming more resources... but not really helping
the problem of reducing ones carbon footprint?
Govind-They just had to make the transmission
line above the tree canopy and use some modern
technologies. The forest lobby got the sanctions from
GOI . It was not necessary to cut so many trees.
hm....that sounds interesting...but to the
best of my knowledge...you should have
applied..earlier for the project....
or that...you can ask THDC to apply for
Carbon credits...and then use the money they get..to
carry out the modern technology work!
Yes, Clinton. There is a big debate on the
very issue you raised: whether it isn't just a way
for the rich to pay for their guilt. Real emission
reduction should also include with some changes in
dsilva-There are Government / Supreme Court
records which give me the credit for saving the
trees. Would that help?
But now that its already been done..I dont
think u can apply for the credits anymore :(
Which are the agencies in India which give
the carbon credits?
thro other ministries and state depts
Dabral: It is a start, but I am not sure
whether it will help you get the credits in the end.
I have calculated that the cost of getting carbon
credits--what economists call transaction cost--can
be anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000. I'm not sure
you want to attempt that
Carbon credits are not issued by the Govt of
India. For this purpose, there is a separate UN body
i recently read that in kerala, the
govt was proposing a scheme to provide cfl lighting
at a low cost to its people by reducing the cost by
bulk purchase as well as claiming carbon credits for
its actions... can this actually work? if so, then,
it should be done nationwide or worldwide..
This site will help:
There are several other issues like
controlling the forest departments from causing the
forest fires, planting trees in denuded slopes,and a
number of other initiatives which will result to
saving lakhs of trees in the near future.
Clinton: There are several proposals to get
carbon credits for change-over to CFL bulbs,
including one in China for 10 million bulbs. But the
problem is one of verification.
at dsilva: but in India..in order to
apply...don we need to approach th govt...plz
Yes, Govind the MOEF serves as the
facilitator. It has to grant what is called "host
country approval" at the initial stage without which
the project cannot proceed
i have no idea about how the machinery works
in India? But I do suppose there would be some
For host country approval, you have to
demonstrate that your project meets the "sustainable
development" objectives of the country. These are
fairly simple objectives.
dr D'Silva... if say, one took care
of the verification, what would the net reduction in
cost amount to? if these figures were made
available... there would be more incentive to go
Can we come back to the issue of individual
footprint- what an individual can do- not with the
aim of claiming carbon credit though
The MOEF actually is quite good on this
One of the best sites in India..for carbon
emission rates...and other CER stuffs that I've
discovered so far is Carbon Yatra!!
if u sign up for thr newsletter..u also get
the present rates and related things!
Yes, lets get back to the original topic of
individual carbon footprint. Carbon Yatra is a start,
but unfortunately it relies on a British carbon
hmm.. i recently read that you can
reduce your carbon footprint by changing your diet...
becoming a vegetarian and eating food that is grown
closer to home.. if wonder if people are prepared to
I am curious to know how many of the online
users know their carbon footprint
Sacrfices...that too when the lobby against
the concept of anthropogenic global warming..is
surfacing again....with scientific evidences this
Clinton Goa _I think eating less would also
help a lot of people in the cities.
i dont! we need more standardization
first i suppose! but i would like to know where i
could find out..
Neither do I..do those internet calculators
actually work!!!? ;)
It is quite ok if you don't know your carbon
footprint. You can make a start with one of the
carbon calculators on the internet. They generally
give you an estimate. That's a start. Unless you know
what your footprint is, you will not feel like taking
hm..wud try one real soon!
Im sorry (sorry for myself for missing
this)...but I need to rush. Thanks for all the
Thanks and bye Govind
My carbon footprint for 2007 was 23.7 tons of
Co2, which is higher than that of an average
American! Of this, 23 tons was on account of air
travel, mostly international. I have succeeded in
reducing my emissions by (a) changing my light bulbs
to CFL, and (b) recycling some of my garbage through
vermicomposting. But that's still not enough
Thanks and all the best. Your contribution was
informative and helpful. thanks again
hi, everyone, this id ajitseshadri
hmm... but dr. Dsliva, is there a way
out to reduce air travel?
So I plan to contribute about Rs 10,000 (the
cost of offsetting my emissions) to a village to
either (a) plant trees or (b) change to CFL bulbs or
(c) start vermiculture
i know travel by train is an
option... but not practical and more expensive when
in long distances..
Clinton: that's a tough one. Take my case. I
need to go to Africa at least twice a year. How can I
get there except flying? But in a few cases, one
could take the train or bus instead of flight. In
your case, you could take the train from Stockholm to
Hi. Ajit. We met at IIT D a couple of months
yes,dabral,i think you are doing work
but with such cheap air ticket
prices...esp in europe... i can fly from stockholm to
berlin for Rs. 230/- one way incl taxes ...
Yes, that's part of the dilemma.
and the cost of the train to the same
place would be 15 times that price...
Yes Ajit. Welcome to the chat
all should attempt to reduce
footprint, with local initiatives for global
benefits...can we do it, what to attempt..
I would be interested to know if any one of
you intend to check your carbon footprint through the
internet websites one of these days?
perhaps a carbon tax should be
imposed on items that unnecessarily increase your
carbon footprint... or perhaps avoiding travel by
online chats and video conferencing?
sure I will do that
Ajit welcome-you sure take care of a lot of
people's carbon footprint by your activities.
France and the UK intend to introduce carbon
tax on all flights originating in Europe
yes, every thing counts, thanks susan
for your encouragement, i had told govind i will and
will join the chat,,, he has gone missing...
dr d'silva, i just visited
carbonyatra to see my footprint... but it just asks
me about my travel... nothing about reducing ones
energy in lighting, or composting... could you
suggest a more comprehensive webiste?
Videoconferencing as opposed to air travel is
already happening in many companies.
as a way of cost cutting but helps carbon
Where can I get more information about the
carbon tax on flights in UK and other countries?
Yes, videoconferencing was introduced in
Andhra Pradesh several years ago to cut official
travel and is working fine
Carbon tax on flights is just a proposal. As
you can imagine, the airlines are opposing it. But
they are also getting ready to comply. A few airlines
already have voluntary carbon offsets.
Folks, if you have not done already I
recommend you change over to CFL bulbs. I have helped
a village in AP to change all their bulbs and the
results are amazing. If you're interested in the
details I can provide you
honestly though... individuals
reducing their footprint hardly makes a dfference...
we need bigger groups of people to make any
Dr. dsilva - Pl. provide the details
especially how you overcame the resistance and the
extra cost of the cfl installation. Moreover can we
do anything about the tubewells?
But Dr. Disilva... while CFL reduces
your carbon footprint... its more toxic to
dispose...as it contains mercury, and unless it
becomes more price competitive... it will still
remain as a choice for the upper middle class..
DSILVA's recipe of CFL is good,,, and
has yielded direct gains for many...also in houses in
which you can see the electric meter turning the
consumptions are less... this was an interesting
observation done in a hostel at a college in TN.
In the village of Kisthapur, after consulting
the village elders and the women's groups, we
collectively decided to change all the incandescent
bulbs to CFLs. So 14 watts CFL replaced 60 watt
incandescent bulbs. This will result in a 50%
reduction of energy in the village, or a total of 35
Mw hours per year, valued at Rs 87,500 per year to
the village. There was no resistance. Instead there
was a lot of joy because the incandescent bulbs
apparently rarely lasted a month
susan, you ought to make a white
paper after chat every month, such interesting
concepts that are being discussed!!
We do publish the chat transcripts online
every month See
Dr. Dsilva- were the villagers agreeable to
foot in the extra cost of the CFL
Here are a few ideas that you can take with
you. First, plant at least one tree a year, if not
more. Second, donate a CFL bulb to a needy household,
apart from changing the bulbs in your own household.
unfortunately... when i switched to
cfl last year... the bulbs didn't last as long as
they should... because of bad power fluctuations in
the village i live in Goa. It may have reduced my
carbon footprint... but turned out to so expensive
that i now have to live with a mix of cfl as well as
incandecent lighting in my home
Dabral: I got the villagers to contribute
just ten rupees because that is the cost of a normal
bulb. My friends and I chipped in for the rest of the
that's a great idea Dr. D'Silva
dr.d'silva pl do be in touch whenever
u come to delhi pl feel free to be in touch , it goes
for all folks.. firstname.lastname@example.org website
The concept of donate a CFL is being taken
seriously by a school in Bombay where I advise on
environmental matters. The students have started a
collection. So far they have collected 125 CFLs,
enough to change the bulbs in a village
That is how the resistance was overcome.
Because when I tried to talk to some villagers to
switch to CFL they said give us the bulbs free. We
will try them first.
I like the concept of donation of CFL bulbs
in schools. This is something I would try.
Clinton: I have a proposal to change bulbs in
one school in Goa in case you are interested
but what about disposal of cfl? we
have no system to take care of the mercury in them.
Toxics Links has been researching on this. Perhaps
the newer LED lighting technology is better than CFL.
But it's harder to find in the market.
Yes, the small amount of mercury is a
problem, but I understand a lot of research is being
done to reduce this. In fact, Havell claims their new
CFLs do not have any mercury, but this claim needs to
be independently verified
It is good that action points are emerging
from this chat room
i would be. I'm back in Goa in mid
March. you could get it touch with me via Susan who's
on my group or contact me at email@example.com or
+919890936828 (India) +46762976399 (Sweden)
What is the toxic content in the waste of CFL
vis a vis incandesent bulbs
I should also mention that the Rotary Club of
Bombay is thinking of helping slum dwellers to change
their bulbs as a way to conserve energy
Dabral: I am not very sure. I have not seen
any statistics comparing the two
Coming back to trees ... Any one interested
in the idea of planting at least a tree a year?
If we have no more questions, can you sum up,
Sorry go ahead
its about 4-5mg of mercury in CFL.
incandescnt have none. But they both also have lead
solder...which is toxic..
I plant about three hundred trees every year.
This year it will beDeodar trees in Tarakeshwar in
It was very nice to be a part of this chat.
Carbon emission reduction is a big and
complicated topic. But it helps if one starts with an
idea of one's own contribution towards global
warming, but understanding one's carbon footprint is
a good start. It is important to take responsibility
for one's actions which lead to Co2 emissions.
Thanks to the organizers for this
interesting chat. We should have introduced ourselves
too... -Clinton Vaz
Among ameliorative measures, some of the
ideas discussed were planting trees and changing to
Thank you everyone for a very illuminating
I hope the discussants follow through the
J.P.Dabral of Himalayn Chipko Foundation
Thank you all for inviting me. Good to chat
with you all
Disliva...and everybody else too.. Clinton Vaz of
i'm sure we will... thanks Dr.
To reduce a daunting subject to the
individual level- is the beginning of taking
action-Thanks Dr. D'Silva
Good bye everyone
Thank you and good bye