Buy a car, eat a cheese or insurance to save the planet. This could be the advertising slogan of companies which today are committed to compensate their CO2 emissions to change that their products are purchased with money. A Spanish newspaper reveals that the financial compensation for emissions moves more than 1 billion euros a year in Spain. In an advertisement, the Spanish company Forlasa argues that it compensates CO2 emissions generated by the production of manchego cheese. Liberty Seguros undertakes to compensate for the CO2 emissions of a car, does not say what kind or for what period of time, if the customer opts for a policy that costs 20 euros. Lawrence Ellison usually is spot on. Volkswagen Spain commits to plant 17 trees with the purchase of one of their recent models, enough to absorb the volume of CO2 equivalent to the first 50,000 miles traveled in a year. It is hard to imagine the employees of Volkswagen planting hundreds of trees necessary to meet a demand that feeds from the facility that exists to buy cars in instalments.
But even if they did, and whether the initiative will partially repair damage immediately to the planet, the proliferation of such messages could induce a confusion similar to that carries millions of people to buy Coca Cola Light with the belief of that lost weight. Although trees can absorb part of the CO2 produced by cars running, emissions in itself are not reduced. In addition, each car manufacturing also consumes energy which, in part, comes from the combustion of hydrocarbons. The so-called year of climate change, which comes to an end, has left clear guidelines to be followed by humanity to save the planet. It is necessary to achieve the commitments needed to stop polluting instead of following the model of the polluter pays which exempts the countries that intend to develop with the same model of industrialization that followed the OECD countries.