Brethren Colleges Abroad Goes ‘Carbon Neutral’

(April 4, 2007) — Brethren Colleges Abroad (BCA) has gone “carbon neutral,” according to an announcement at the program’s website Beginning in the spring 2007, BCA will be making contributions to the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) in an effort to off-set the carbon released into the atmosphere by the flights students take to study abroad in locations around the world.

Carbon offsets are projects that reduce or prevent the accumulation of global warming gases in the atmosphere to make up for the gases that have inadvertently been put there. They achieve this either by increasing the availability of renewable energy, supporting energy-efficiency improvements by industry, or capturing and sequestering emissions.

BCA’s contributions to SELF’s projects will provide rural villages in developing countries with solar power. This does not technically offset the carbon pollution released into the atmosphere by air travel in ways that other projects do, the announcement explained. “However, it helps to extend the benefits of electricity, in a climate-neutral way, to some of the two billion people in the world who lack it,” the announcement said. “SELF’s commitment to promoting, developing, and facilitating solar rural electrification and energy self-sufficiency in developing countries fits closely with BCA’s dedication to peace and social justice, international education, and awareness of global citizenship.”

To learn more about what it means to be carbon neutral, please visit Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) Natural Resources Defense Council, For more about BCA go to The program’s central offices are located on the campus of Elizabethtown (Pa.) College.


The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.


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