2019 was a busy year for climate change awareness and action; the emergence of the youth climate movement, climate activism and greater concern about the impacts amongst the global population. A recent poll by Ipsos MORI found that 85% of UK citizens are concerned about climate change.
Here at CO2Balance, our position as a Carbon Offset Project Developer is to deliver projects that work towards the UN sustainable development goals and provide climate adaptation for rural communities in developing countries. These projects include high-impact safe water, improved cookstoves and CSR projects.
CO2Balance ‘CSR’ projects aim to go beyond the safe water or cookstove project, identifying other local community needs and provide vital resources and community benefits. Examples include renovating health clinic facilities, providing new latrines or improve school facilities and the local environment.
In 2020, CO2Balance will continue to maintain our existing safe water and improved cookstove projects and are planning to rehabilitate hundreds of additional boreholes across our existing target countries.
Our operational countries, include:
- Horn of Africa (Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia)
- East Africa & beyond (Uganda, Rwanda)
- Southern Africa (Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe)
- West Africa (Sierra Leone, Gambia)
- Further afield (Vietnam)
Potential new countries and projects include a safe water project in Madagascar and mangrove project along the coast of Eritrea. All projects are registered under the Gold Standard, issuing verified credits which have measurable impacts in terms of emissions and alongside at least two other sustainable development goals (SDGs).
2020 needs to be a year of record climate action across all spectrum’s of society, treating the “climate crisis” as a crisis. Recently at the United Nations COP 25, some positive news did arise but also a lot of inaction and breakdown of talks occured too.
EU green deal
The EU released its green deal around how the continent aims to become net-zero by 2050. 5 key points from the deal, include:
- Smart sector integration; bringing together different countries electricity, gas and heating sectors closer together in “one system”
- Circular economy action plan, for industries to change the way of the production of everyday goods.
- A reshape of the way carbon-intensive industries such as steel and cement operate, with ambitious plans to integrate hydrogen; a clean fuel into these industries.
- Renovation rate of buildings, to make commercial and domestic properties more energy efficient.
- Targets to make a “pollution-free environment”, working on transport and industrial emissions.
Article 6 of the Paris agreement is around emissions trading and voluntary cooperation, aiming to accelerate countries ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There are a lot of contentious issues, as there are many complexities in emissions trading. There are concerns in what projects to include and how to define technical details. Carbon markets should enhance and not undermine ambition; governments and non-government stakeholders should aim to bring together disconnect which arises between them.
More ambitious targets by 2020
Under current rules, only 13 countries are required to update their nationally determined contributions by 2020, but these countries only make up 1% of global emissions. There is a concern that many countries won’t up their ambition to address changes that have occurred to the climate in the post-Paris era. This paves the way for COP 26 which will be in Glasgow; a fantastic opportunity for the UK to hold a successful and decisive event, during these crunch times of the climate crisis.