With the growing demand for newer, cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles, TerraPass has learned that several leading automobile manufacturers are poised to release the AERE (Automotive Efficiency to Reduce Emissions, pronounced “airy”) carbon offset protocol at the New York International Auto Show. Our sources tell us that the AERE protocol has just undergone a final peer-review process, and its public release should occur this Friday. The quantification methodology will use the same EPA data that our Carbon Footprint Calculator is based upon, although full details are not yet available.
Thanks to this new protocol and to the near-certain imminent passage of a federal law which will finally put a price on US carbon, owners of model year 2010 and later hybrid electric or all electric vehicles will qualify to receive offset credits, provided they sold or traded in a diesel or gasoline-powered vehicle. Owners will just need to have their odometer read at a certified repair center each year, and fill out a simple form. Data will be aggregated from all certified repair centers, at which point the emission reductions will be verified and available for use in the federal scheme. In this way, hybrid owners seeking a little extra income can sell their emission reductions.
As a special incentive to encourage participants to retire their reductions instead of selling them, TerraPass is considering providing free retirement services and all-new “TerraPass retired my offsets” bumper stickers.
Still, we aren’t sure this program really has merit. Let’s face it, Prius drivers are annoying enough with their carpool lane stickers, clever license plates, and unusual driving habits. Do we really want to encourage more of that?