Greening Australia to team with Targa Tasmania
Leading environmental group, Greening Australia, and the organisers of Targa Tasmania, have joined forces to encourage drivers across the state to offset their vehicle's emissions.
The campaign, to be headed by eight-time Targa winner, Jim Richards, has been supported by the RACT as it shows that everyone can make a difference in the battle against global warming.
Greening Australia national president, Rob Gell, says Richards is the perfect role model for the campaign.
"People around this state get right behind Targa and are big fans of Jim Richards, who is a legend of the event," Gell said.
"This year Jim will pay Greening Australia to offset the emissions of his Porsche GT2 during Targa, and he is encouraging every other driver to do the same to cover the use of their vehicle," Gell said.
"It will start with a pamphlet, featuring Jim, which will go to 100,000 Tasmanians with their registration renewals.
"Our message to every Tasmanian is very simple: Join Jim and the team at Targa and offset your vehicle's emissions into Greening Australia's Biodiverse Carbon Sink Project.
"Your contribution will help us plant thousands of trees to offset your emissions. It will also help Tasmania prepare for climate change."
As part of the relationship between Greening Australia and Targa Tasmania, the event will move towards the aim of having zero net emissions by 2011 and will provide specific categories within the rally for lower emissions and alternative fuel vehicles, starting with a diesel category in 2009 and a hybrid section in 2010.
The money paid by Targa and event competitors will be used to support Greening Australia's Biodiverse Carbon Sink, right in the heart of Tasmania.
Event director, Mark Perry, is delighted that his event is working proactively with Greening Australia on a project that brings specific environmental benefits to Tasmania.
"The initial work of Greening Australia is the mass planting of a range of native species in the Upper Derwent, country which actually hosts our event every year," Perry said.
"Jim has been terrific. He's got right behind this initiative. He has a name highly respected in this state, which makes him very influential when we are trying to have everyday people get on-board and make a difference."
In Hobart for this weekend's Targa Wrest Point, Richards said it was important that motorsport was environmentally responsible.
"An event like Targa is really a cavalcade of motoring history, with cars from right back in 1924 to today," Richards said. "We can't change that history, cars do produce carbon, but we can offset, and it is important that we do that."
The offset will cost Targa Tasmania competitors $100 for the six days of racing, while the two-day Targa Wrest Point will involve a flat fee of $50.
In 2009 the payment is voluntary, in 2010 competitors will have to specifically opt out of paying, but by 2011, when Targa Tasmania turns 20, the offset will be compulsory.
The new partnership will also see Greening Australia working with organisers to help Targa adopt a carbon reduction strategy as well.