19 Dec 2007 04:12:32
San Francisco becomes US carbon-offsetting 'pioneer'
San Francisco is set to become the first US city to launch a carbon-offsetting fund to finance local environmentally-friendly activities.
Under the programme, announced yesterday (December 18th), city officials will be required to calculate the carbon footprint of their travel and then contribute to one of several carbon-cutting initiative in the city.
The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, told Reuters that the new programme offered the additional benefit of supporting carbon-cutting schemes right on the city's doorstep, allowing officials to know just where their offsets are going.
"What we are trying to do by this is to set high standards to show carbon offset programs that work," Mr Newsom explained.
"Right now, my offsets, I don't know where the hell they go. They might be going to the Amazon," he added. "There are some scam artists doing nothing other than banking on this goodwill."
Authorities in San Francisco have already introduced a series of carbon-cutting measures, including banning plastic bags in large supermarkets and forbidding city officials from drinking water from plastic bottles.