Cities & Communities


CARBON FOOTPRINT AND ADAPTIVE TERRITORIAL PLANNING (EASTER ISLAND AND JUAN FERNANDEZ, CHILE) Roberto Moris & Jonathan Barton www.huellarapanui.ieut.cl http://www.huellajuanfernandez.ieut.cl Grant: British Embassy   The notion of carbon footprints follows in the tendency of lifecycle analysis of SCP (sustainable production and consumption) that has been a focus of the UN Sustainable Development Commission.  Among these types of analysis one can find the ecological footprint, also the water footprint (including virtual water).  The focus on carbon footprints has become especially important in terms of the GHG mitigation orientations of the IPCC and successive COP meetings. Carbon footprints are a tool for decision-makers to understand their carbon balance and to develop measures in order to reduce carbon and carbon equivalent gases, such as methane from agriculture and waste management. Using the PAS 2050 (Publically Available Specification, version 2008) it is possible to assess the carbon footprint of the island.  Until PAS 2050, there were no set methodologies for evaluating carbon footprints although different formats have existed since the 1990s but were not comparable; PAS 2050 is linked to the ISO standards 14040 and 14044, which relate to life cycles.  Given the interest of different commercial sectors to reduce the carbon associated with the production and transport systems, especially those who foresee potential non-tariff barriers to their products (e.g. the French Grenelle Plan) and labelling requirements, there has been considerable progress, e.g. the Chilean wine sector.  Given the transport-related emissions of exports from sources distant from the major markets in the EU and North America (where awareness of carbon-related trade impacts is rising), countries such as New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Chile have had to become more proactive in these trade issues. In terms of public bodies however, progress has been slower.  Analysis of sub-national political-administrative areas, such as municipalities, provinces and regions has yet to be established.  PAS 2050 has been designed to track carbon relating to specific products, therefore it has to be adapted for geographical unit (territorial) purposes.  If local authorities are to become key actors in carbon mitigation however, it is precisely these instruments that should be incorporated into their toolbox.  An analysis of the carbon footprint of Easter Island will be an important step in this direction, providing a demonstration effect for other authorities.  It will also provide a baseline upon which the island authorities can initiate measures and invest in technologies and practices that will reduce carbon demand (improving efficiency, lowering costs and reducing emissions in the process). The envisaged project will take the following form, based on four steps.

STEP 1. Design of the instrument and interaction with relevant data-holders: Since the methodology is given, there is a process of adaptation to the case and also a fixing of the limits of the case study (system boundary).  Carbon footprints, especially the value chain or life cycle issues, can be extended almost continually.  It is important therefore to fix the boundaries of the study.  The word scope will not be used for this activity, since the activity that follows is precisely the separation of carbon streams into the three scopes defined by PAS 2050: direct, indirect, associated.  The direct emissions (Scope 1) are those over which a company or local authority has direct control via ownership.  Indirect (Scope 2) relates to purchased inputs of energy. Scope 3 relates to all other purchased inputs. The communication of the intentions of the project and how it can be used by different public and private stakeholders, in order to contribute to climate change mitigation and to reduce carbon demand and costs locally over the longer term, is vital.  Without support from key authorities,

Step 2 will be considerably weakened. STEP 2. Data-mining: The construction of a carbon footprint is a data-mining process. This step involves the generation of the data that is required to meet the needs of the model.  Data is often sensitive and is held by a wide number of public and private actors, often in different time-series and unit formats.  Access to this data may require specific disclosure agreements or other restrictions.  Broad-based support for the project should ensure that data is made available and any restrictions can be overcome.  Data will have to be sought, and proxies designed where data is missing but is regarded as essential.  All of these additions have to made explicit in the methodology in order to ensure replicability.

STEP 3. Footprint estimation and adjustments: The footprint will be calculated based on the data generated in Step 2, following the necessary Bearing in mind that there should be comparative elements to the tool (in order to be applied to other Chilean islands, such as the Chiloé Archipelago, or other islands in other national contexts), a process of adjustments and validation will be required.  This may involve follow-up (skype, telephone, email) conversations and exchanges with data holders to confirm the quality of the data and its limitations.

STEP 4. Carbon mitigation proposals:  Based on the footprint, it will be possible to identify the key variables that contribute to the footprint for the island.  It is in these themes that greatest progress can be made: they are the low-hanging fruit.   In all carbon footprints, the energy balance is key, and it is in this field that most progress can be made.  Since the island is dependent on energy from the mainland, a lifecycle assessment of these flows should be revealing.  Part of this process of proposal generation will be the calculation of savings associated with alternatives.  These may then be used to justify new projects, such as applications to the FNDR or other sources.

STEP 5. Socialisation of the product.: The footprint will need to be socialised via different communications media.  This should happen after a presentation to the relevant authorities and once they have checked its contents and given permission for its diffusion.  The study should raise questions about certain practices that are accepted as normal but may not be efficient (in terms of carbon and economics), therefore it may be attractive to some stakeholders and less for others.  This politicisation of the product should be expected and it should be framed as a longer-term, strategic process that does not damage short-term interests.


Roberto Moris & Jonathan Barton


Grant: British Embassy

Reduction of carbon emission in Easter Island through the design of a carbon offsetting tool for the mitigation of tourism emissions in Easter Island.  This tool will connect air travel emissions and reforestation of Easter Island that is managed by the Chilean National Forestry Corporation (CONAF). This tool will allow tourists to mitigate their carbon footprint by investing in reforestation projects.

This project will create a tool that allows tourists to mitigate their carbon footprint by investing in reforestation projects on Easter Island. The tool will be developed alongside a business model and management structure to ensure probity and efficacy, also an implementation guide that will define the phases of initiation of the model and the associated instruments (marketing, distribution, payment, linked projects, etc.). The ability to calculate and communicate the progress made in sequestering carbon through these reforestation projects will build on the carbon footprint study already undertaken, and will facilitate a ‘distance-to-target’ process for monitoring the carbon balance through improvements in local environmental quality and ecological services.  The main benefit will be carbon emissions reduction. Further beneficiaries will be tourists (offsetting helping improve their destination), CONAF (supporting projects to reduce erosion and improve landscape ecology) and the Rapa Nui people (through restoring their landscape and improving environmental quality).

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