Sunday, 18 January 2009

Where are we focusing our resources?

I was reading Lester R. Brown's Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to save civilization. Using a value of 210 US dollars per ton of sequestered carbon, he calculates the cost of afforesting 171 million hectares in order to sequester carbon, conserve soil, reduce flooding and provide firewood over ten years at around 20 billion US dollars per year. Citing a Congressional Research Service study by Vatenfall and Belasco (2007) on the cost of US military operations in the "war on terror," Brown points out that this afforestation would cost less than 2 months of US occupation of Iraq (presumably each year).

I began to wonder what emissions are produced by UK activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also what this involvement is costing the the country in financial terms. It would be interesting to calculate how much could be achieved with these funds were they to be diverted instead to combatting climate change. In order to find out, I have put a Freedom of Information request in to the MOD, asking about both emissions and financial cost: I will let you know the result if/when I get a reply.

1 comment:

  1. I'd be interested to hear the result of that.