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Doing the math on carbon offsets

If I've done this right:

  • 1 gal of av gas burned produces 22 lbs of CO2
  • Conversely, 1 tonne of CO2 is equivalent to burning 100 gal of av gas
  • If the average carbon offset costs around $20 / tonne of CO2, this costs approximately $0.20 / us gal or $0.05 / L

This seems a little low, which is good because it puts the scheme in the "very doable" category. For reference, av gas is currently around $2 / L, so $0.05 / L is a drop in the bucket.


  1. Conklin and de Decker article on CO2 in aviation
  2. Carbon Catalog list of providers in Canada


That was the conclusion I got from the reference: that the carbon offset doesn't cost much in comparison to the cost of the fuel.
Also, I like the airplane icon. :)