Photo by mrpattersonsir
The Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill was invited along by Central Taxis to unveil their new scheme for greener taxis today, as reported by the Guardian.
Except, for most of the taxi fleet they're not getting greener at all.
Central Taxis have decided to waste money by using a carbon-offsetting company, which they claim will "save" around 4,000 tones of CO2 from the atmosphere. The carbon-offset company will be using Central Taxis money to capture methane gas from a coal mine in China.
Firstly, how does capturing methane save CO2? They're different gases. I suspect either Central Taxis or the CarbonNeutral Company have fallen into the trap of using CO2 as a shorthand for all greenhouse gases, when they really mean the equivalent of 4,000 tons of CO2.
But that's a minor quibble.
My second point is that methane captured from coal mines is utilised elsewhere, and therefore reaches the atmosphere anyway. As in the UK, China uses captured methane to power energy generation plants as well as cooking appliances in nearby towns. We do it in this country, are we really expecting the Chinese not to?
In my opinion, Central Taxis have been sold a pup. Far better to have invested the money in a greener, cleaner taxi fleet. One can only hope that the next generation of black cabs are either hybrids or, even better, electric.