Can your school go carbon neutral?

| March 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

Many schools around the globe are determined to achieve carbon neutral status. Explains online news service Worldcrunch.com, “That means removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as you put in.”

The European Union (EU) launched its five-year School of the Future programme in 2011. School buildings and their primary users – pupils – are the focus of the project, said a spokesperson for the EU’s energy sector.

In Copenhagen, Denmark, Guldberg Skole, Tove Ditlevsens Skole, Vanløse Skole and Utterslev Skole are special ‘climate schools’, working to mitigate climate challenges through the use of solar panel solutions, geothermal heat and alternative ventilation solutions and in the daily pedagogical activities with the pupils.

But a school in Sydney, Australia, that was anxious to achieve carbon neutral status, has been left disillusioned and in debt instead.

Oakhill College placed its faith in businessman Brett Goldsworthy, the owner of carbon credits company shift2neutral, when he issued the school with carbon credit certificates,; financial instruments that represents a tonne of carbon dioxide CO2) or carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) gases removed or reduced from the atmosphere from an emission reduction project, which can be used by governments, industry or private individuals to offset damaging carbon emissions they are generating.

Goldsworthy claimed that he had saved a rainforest district in Malaysia from logging, generating more than AUS$1 billion in carbon credits. He then supplied Oakhill with 2 000 carbon credits worth AUS$20 each as a ‘gift’, leading the school to believe it could publicly announce that it was officially a carbon neutral institution.

But last year, Acting Justice Henric Nicolas found the credits to be ‘‘fake’’ and ‘‘valueless’’. Nicholas said Goldsworthy had failed to supply the court with any evidential material to confirm his claim about the rainforest. Goldsworthy was ordered to pay all costs.

Category: Autumn 2015

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