2.5 Times Around the World

One of the worst parts about being a member of the EU parliament is all of these flights. About three times a month I fly to Brussels and once a month to Strasbourg. I’ve calculated that during a year it’s at least 100,800 kilometers of flying! That’s the equivalent of two-and-a-half times around the world every year!

The worst of it is that this means an incredible amount of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions: each year I, as a member of the EU-parliament, am responsible for the release of 12 tons of carbon dioxide and 28 kg of dangerous nitrogen oxide.

Yes, I could hardly believe it when I saw the figures I reached. So, what to do? My colleague Eva-Britt and I continue to work for a stop to the merry-go-round to Strasbourg and fewer trips in general (through the use of video conferences and the like). And, by the way, whatever happened, to Folkpartiet’s Cecilia Malmström’s laudable campaign, One Seat? Now she’s the EU minister and she has abandoned the issue). But we will also compensate for our emissions. However, the money won’t go to for-profit companies who make money off it. Instead, we’ll be donating money to organizations in the southern hemisphere who are working against climate change.

We pay 50 euros roundtrip to Brussels (market-leading Climate Care thinks that a mere 3 euros is enough) and 100 euros outside of Europe. One of the receiving organizations will be Climate Network Africa in Kenya. It’s an organization I have great faith in. I met their chairperson, Grace Akumu, in June. She spoke at the climate conference I arranged in the summer.