When applying for your visa on e-Visa.ie for your holidays or business trip, you can easily compensate your flight’s CO₂ emissions. In this article, we will explain to you where the money donated for CO₂ compensations ends up.
What is CO₂, and why is it harmful?
Aeroplane engines emit tonnes of substances that are harmful for the environment and our climate. Carbon-dioxide, better known as CO₂, is the biggest culprit. A higher density of CO₂ in the atmosphere speeds up the process of global warming.
The Earth has been warming up for billions of years due to infrared radiation found in sunlight. Most of this radiation is bounced off the Earth, back into space. The radiation that is left behind, gives us the comfortable temperatures. However, a high density of greenhouse gasses, like CO₂, prevent that radiation from reflecting out of the atmosphere, creating a kind of greenhouse. Energy from infrared radiation can enter, but no longer leave, causing global warming. Needless to say, this will cause, or is causing major problems
What is CO₂ compensation?
The higher the CO₂ density, the quicker the process of global warming. To reduce the amount of CO2 in the air, we could for example decide to refrain from flying, heating up our homes, using our cars, eating meat, and buying things from all over the world.
However, there are other options. It is possible to invest in projects that contribute to reducing CO₂ emissions, or even absorb CO₂ from the air. Some examples of such projects are planting trees that convert CO₂ to oxygen, and replacing coal-fired power plants with renewable energy sources, such as hydropower plants, windmills, or solar panels.
A flight from London to New York, contributes to an increase of approximately 1,36 tonnes of CO₂ in the air. The turbine engines release the gas when burning kerosene. Instead of deciding not to take the flight, it is possible to make a contribution to a project that can reduce average CO₂ emissions. This is called CO₂ compensation.
To prevent is better than to heal. It is always better not to emit any CO₂, than to compensate those emissions. While climate change is happening now, trees that are planted today will only lead to a reduction of CO₂ density in a few years from now. Apart from Co₂, more damaging substances are discharged by turbine engines. Although compensating CO₂ will never be the definitive solution to global warming, it is always better than ignoring the issue altogether. That is why we, e-Visa.ie, offer an accessible way to invest in compensating CO₂, together with applying for your visa.
What happens to the money I pay for CO₂ compensations?
Anyone can start a project to reduce or even absorb CO₂ emissions. One way to do this is by purchasing a piece of land to plant trees on. However, before a project is permitted to ask for money for their contribution, it needs to be approved. It needs to be determined whether the project is indeed reducing the CO₂ density, and by how much. Another important demand for raising money, is that the project cannot be financed without the help of other people and organisations that wish to compensate their CO₂.
Verra is by far the largest organisation that deals with inspecting projects. With their so-called VCS-register, they keep track of their projects regarding whether they are sticking to the rules and how much CO₂ they compensate. A project that has compensated 100 tonnes of CO₂ in one year, will have 100,000 carbon credits to sell. Verra not only keeps track of how many carbon credits can be sold, but also how many have been sold and to whom. With this, they make sure that each carbon credit cannot be sold twice.
Compensate your CO₂ through e-Visa.ie
Are you applying for your visa, eTA or ESTA on e-Visa.ie? Then you will be offered the option to compensate the CO₂ emissions of your flight before you pay for your visa. The amount of CO₂ emissions is estimated based on a direct economy class roundtrip flight to the country for which you are applying for a visa. The compensation costs are then paid on e-Visa.ie together with your visa. Then, e-Visa.ie will purchase credits on your behalf that compensate the CO₂ emissions of your flight. Your contributions are 100% used for buying carbon credits; e-Visa.ie does not profit from this purchase.
Since 2022, e-Visa.ie has purchased 15,000 VCS-certified carbon credits on behalf of customers wanting to compensate their flight. This concerns credits that were issued for the construction of a hydropower plant in Indonesia. The transactions of these credits can be found in the public VCS register, available here. Click on the tab VCUs. Enter ‘487‘ under ID and then filter the tab ‘Retirement Detailʼ (on the right) using the wordds ‘e-Visa.ie’.
Take note: this news article about the ESTA for the USA is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the ESTA for the USA.