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Offsetting is ‘a distraction’ that will not meet reduction targets

The reputation of ‘carbon offsetting’ as a legitimate way to reduce environmental impact suffered a further blow last month when a leading on-line environmental travel company removed the option for its customers to offset their carbon emissions. Responsibletravel.com was one of the first travel promoters to offer its customers the chance to pay for environmental projects to offset the emissions caused by their trips, but now it says offsetting is a distraction from the need to reduce emissions as ‘it allows people to behave in the same way or worse’. A spokeswoman for the company said, ‘Too often offsets are used by the tourism industry to justify growth plans on the basis that money will be donated to projects in developing countries – global reduction targets will not be met this way.’

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Are young adults cool about cars?

A study by a market research company in America says today’s young adults are less keen to get their first car than their parents were. The company, JD Power, analysed hundreds of thousands of internet ‘conversations’ to work out what people born between 1980 and 2000 think today. One conclusion was that the growth of media communication such as email and social networking websites, along with rising fuel costs, have reduced the need for mobility. A senior official of JD Power said the research also picked up negative perceptions of the automotive industry, which could combine with the need for less mobility to reduce sales of vehicles.

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No new runway … yet

The campaign against a new runway at one of Europe’s busiest airports appears to have been won, at least in the short term. Earlier this year the British government gave approval to a third runway at London Heathrow, one of the three busiest airports in Europe. But the opposition Conservative party has been against it, and with the Conservatives looking likely to be elected to government in the spring, Heathrow’s owners have said they will not ask for formal planning permission until after the election.

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