Background

Rationale
When Dr Alison Cooke attended COP21* in 2015, where the Paris accords were formed, she made a personal promise to attempt to counter her own carbon dioxide footprint. This is that she would remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as she produced, directly and indirectly, in her lifetime. It was at this conference that she talked about the role of engineers in strategies against climate change and in enabling national governments to achieve their emissions reduction targets. She therefore felt a personal responsibility to lead by example in combatting the carbon crisis through offsetting her own emissions.

In order to calculate Dr Cooke's lifetime carbon footprint, various calculations and methods were needed to attempt as much accuracy as possible. Using a combination of average carbon dioxide emissions per capita from various years from data from the World Bank website**, comparisons with calculations generated using Carbonfootprint.com, and estimations of specific years and future predictions, Esther Tun developed a system for calculating one's lifetime carbon dioxide output. This is available in the Carbon Calculation page.

It is important for the information gathered and the project method to be public knowledge and accessible to those interested in helping***. So, public engagement is the third goal of CO20. This has been achieved both in the form of this informative report and through various TV and Radio interviews with Dr Cooke.

Getting Involved
Understanding the impact of one’s life on carbon emissions is a great start to helping act against global warming and climate change. Use carbonfootprint.com to work out your yearly emissions.

For more information and help calculating one’s lifetime's carbon footprint, go to the Carbon Calculation section. There are many avenues to make donations, of any size, towards tree planting schemes in the UK, such as through The Woodland Trust, The National Trust and Green Energy Consulting.

This report aims to provide all the necessary information needed for one to take on a similar project. However, to plant a woodland of trees to offset carbon dioxide emissions without access to the land or necessary professionals, The Woodland Trust has many different schemes that can accommodate and financially support you. They offer schemes for businesses and individuals, as well as help with finding appropriate of areas of land. Fundraising projects can also be helpful in encouraging larger donations, which can also be arranged through the previously mentioned sites.

If you are interested in putting together a project like CO20 to offset your lifetime carbon emissions, look onto Carbon Calculation page and Planting a Forest for the information necessary.

*COP is the UNFCCC Conference of Parties and the supreme governing body of an international convention. **CO20 acknowledges thanks to Cooke Associates Beatriz Fernandez, UNEP staff and Chair of FCES for help obtaining such information. ***As this page goes live there are already three other woods under discussion.