Energy use and carbon management

Almost all of the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) activities currently use hydrocarbon fossil fuels as their main source of energy; from heating and lighting Antarctic stations to powering ships, aircraft, electricity generators and scientific equipment.

Burning of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere resulting in enhanced greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to human induced climate change.

As part of its commitment to the environment, BAS recognises its responsibility towards taking a proactive approach in reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions throughout its operations in Antarctica and the UK, and has agreed the following targets to reduce emissions:

  • 20% cut, or greater, in emissions (from 2006 levels) from BAS Cambridge and Antarctic research stations by 2012
  • 5% cut, or greater, in emissions (from 2006 levels) from the BAS ships by 2012.

In addition, BAS along with over 70 Cambridge based organisations has made the commitment to tackle the causes and consequences of climate change. On the 25 October 2007, in an initiative lead by Cambridge City Council, BAS signed the Cambridge Climate Change Charter in a public pledge to demonstrate its commitment to the environment.