As the world’s politicians, celebrities and organisations fight over who has the best green credentials, it is quite refreshing to read Tony Blair’s views, that is it “impractical” to expect people to give up things like long-haul flights”.
Of course, the prime minister’s spokesperson is cited as saying Mr Blair offset all his official travel and “All government activity will be carbon neutral by 2015 and the prime minister has taken the lead in this.”
If we’re going to be honest about what is realistic to achieve in reducing impact on the environment (which would be good), then we also need to move away from thinking “neutralising” carbon emissions is evidence of being green.
Being interviewed on BBC Breakfast this morning, M&S boss, Stuart Rose, was asked about what the company was doing for the environment. After replying about energy use and other practical steps, the journalist asked – what about carbon off-setting… Of course, the response was that the company was aiming to be carbon neutral – who isn’t?
Then again, everyone is praising the success of M&S in terms of a sales surge over Christmas – but then selling more things we don’t really need wouldn’t be considered as having a negative impact on the environment, unless we’re being really realistic would it?