Why Take Action?

Photo credit: Alvaro Del Campo CIMA

Creating carbon emissions is often unavoidable. Luckily, carbon assets make compensating for them easy. They are a simple and effective way to offset the impact of emissions by delivering an equal reduction in carbon dioxide or another greenhouse gas elsewhere. So in effect, one cancels out the other.

The impact on the atmosphere is broadly the same wherever emissions occur in the world. So there are often opportunities to avoid or reduce emissions in another location. This is important, especially since there are many emissions in our lives today which are very difficult to reduce ourselves (like air travel).

There are lots of ways to buy these carbon assets. They can be voluntarily purchased by individuals or businesses. They can also form part of a legislatively enforced ‘cap and trade’ or ‘emissions trading’ system, which is common practice in some industries. In this scenario, a company’s emissions are capped at a set level which declines over time. Regulators issue or sell allowances for emissions below the cap and offsets or credits can be purchased for any emissions that go above it. Learn more about emissions trading systems here.

Carbon assets can also be used as part of a company’s carbon neutral commitment. For example, the aviation sector is committed to delivering carbon neutral growth. Investors are keen on carbon assets too because they allow companies to report a lower net emissions impact. This demonstrates good Corporate Social Responsibility by showing that climate risk is being actively managed.

Time is running out

Climate scientists agree that just a 2 degree rise in average global temperatures could fundamentally change the ecology of our planet so that it is unsafe for human life. If we keep emitting carbon at today’s levels, that tipping top will be reached in just nine years when our ‘carbon budget‘ will be spent. And we only have 5 years till we reach 1.5 degrees – the ambitious target for liming temperature increase agreed by governments.

This isn’t just idle speculation, it’s based on hard science. The time to act is now.

5-years

The buck stops with us

We’re all responsible for carbon emissions and we can all do something about it.

We all need to get involved to make a difference and right now. Governments all over the world are working hard to combat emissions too.

Find out more about the climate change commitments that governments are making in a bid to keep global warming below 2o C.

Why focus on forests?

Perhaps surprisingly, about 10% of all global carbon emissions are caused by deforestation and land degradation.

When you consider other kinds of emissions related to the way we use land, such as agriculture, that jumps to nearly a quarter of all emissions.  That’s bigger than the emissions burden produced by the transport sector.

greenhouse-gas-emissions

So if we want to keep temperature rises below 2o C, looking after our forests is a great place to start. They offer an immediate, high impact and affordable solution to climate change – and this is in addition to livelihoods they provide for millions of people (and species).

Just take a look at the different levels of potential for reducing carbon emissions that different climate solutions offer.

mitigation-potential

Nature’s own answer

By making forestry and other land use emissions a priority we can deliver climate change impact on a fantastic scale.

Forests are a nature-based solution that relies on one of the world’s oldest technologies: photosynthesis. There’s no technology risk and no need for lengthy research or expensive new engineering approaches.

Focusing on tropical and sub-tropical forests is also an immensely practical and transparent way forward for individuals, businesses and governments seeking to do their bit for climate change. The existing carbon market already puts a value on the carbon stored in our forests, and investing in these carbon assets through buying carbon credits is a simple way to protect our planet’s future.

Like any other asset, forests will mature over time. Beyond an important climate change dividend, they will also deliver all sorts of amazing benefits to our environment and the people and animals who rely on these forest habitats.

ecospheremisc-graphics-04

Ecosphere+ makes doing the right thing easy

If our amazing ancient forests disappear, they’ll be gone forever. The good news is that there are simple measures we can take right now to invest in the value that these forests represent and protect our planet’s greatest asset.

We can help individuals, small businessesindustry, investors, and governments to make forest carbon assets the cornerstone of their climate change and wider environmental strategy. Want to get involved?