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Carbon Activity Value

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Carbon Activity Value: The CAV unit: Calculation of the CAV unit: The ‘cav’ unit – explaination

Calculation of the CAV (Carbon Activity Value) unit.

In order to put a specific value on a carbon unit that is useful to both the public and industry and relevant to everyday life the CAV unit is suggested and is based on a person walking or cycling instead of driving the average car for one kilometre.

 Since this amount is more easily imagined than dealing in Tonnes of CO2 it is hoped that it will be adopted in much the same way that Calories or cals has been for dieting.

To diet efficiently you count the cals you’re using or saving, likewise to ‘save our planet’ we need to count the CAVs we’re using or saving. If we use this simple method of calculating the savings from our actions, we and industry can finally get to grips with tackling climate change induced by greenhouse gas emissions, that primarily consist of CO2 production (mainly from fossil fuels).

This unit is therefore not only relevant to the main cause, but also relevant to most people’s lives.

*At Kyoto all developed countries agreed to legally binding targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in response to warnings over global climate change. Following this the European Commission and the European Automobile Manufactures Association (ACEA) came to an agreement in July 1998 that committed ACEA to reduce CO2 emissions from new passenger cars by over 25% to an average emission figure of 140g/Km by 2008.

This is one of the most significant industry agreements on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has led to more fuel efficient vehicles being brought onto the market.

 (* This text is taken from CO2 emissions data on the website: )

1 CAV unit is therefore the equivalent of one person walking or cycling instead of driving an average passenger car (as laid down in the Kyoto agreement target for 2008) the distance of 1 Kilometre and so saves 140 gm of CO2 in the process.

Now that we have a carbon unit (the ‘cav’) relevant to people’s lives and within the range of everyday human experience, we can now use it to quantify carbon universally to bring about true value to our actions in tackling climate change. All human activity and industrial production can now be given not only an economic value but this new carbon value. This will enable us to make rational decisions whereby both factors are taken into consideration. This will ultimately allow us to make the necessary actions to ensure a sustainable future for our planet.

(copyright –  Campaign against Climate Change Organisation.)

Image courtesy of Marisa Rehana Mann

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