November 21, 2022
21 November 2022: New Zealand’s leading carbon offsetting company CarbonClick says COP27 has shown a lack of implementation, once again. What we need is to get on with the simple, practical steps that will make a difference to reducing climate change.
The emphasis on research and strategising should by now have switched to implementation, and carbon offsetting is one of those practical actions, says CEO of CarbonClick Dave Rouse, who attended COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, last week as a NZ Government approved delegate.
“I’m disappointed to say that COP27 has not proven to be the ‘implementation COP’ it promised to be,” says Dave. “While it’s great to see we’ve reached a commitment to loss and damage, it is yet lacking an actual plan to distribute those funds to those communities that really need them.”
“It was a good outcome to agree to keeping the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive. However, the fossil fuel lobby was largely overrepresented, and we have not seen any progress in phasing out fossil fuels. This is a crucial step to aligning with this target, so there is a lot more work ahead of us in that space.”
CarbonClick was set up to make climate action simple because there’s already so much scientific research available, and organizations like the World Wildlife Fund are well down the track on pushing for better policy and regulation for the carbon offsetting industry, including best practice standards.
“It’s that simple,” says Dave. “In a perfect world future investment in technical solutions and upstream/supply chain reforms will render carbon offsetting irrelevant. But right now, it’s the best solution we have to tackle the reality that some emissions in life and business are unavoidable until technology catches up.”
“That’s what we need to focus on while reducing – those companies like ours that are providing high integrity carbon credits, because they work. Every CarbonClick offset project is rigorously audited, independently certified and meets UN Sustainable Development Goals. We can’t avoid some emissions right now, so offsetting them with genuine projects is a real solution. There don’t seem to be many other practical solutions available at this stage.”
He says there’s absolutely no doubt that the carbon offsetting industry needs policy and regulation, and he welcomes that.
“We welcome scrutiny of the industry. In fact we believe it’s needed. We support policy making that insists on high standards and enforcement of best practice so that high quality carbon credits within the industry retain their integrity to truly move the dial on climate change.
“At CarbonClick we are showing that quality carbon credits have a huge impact, and we cannot defend those who are selling poor standards. Like any industry it’s about outlawing the rogues.
“CarbonClick is advocating for policy and regulation implementation in the carbon offsetting industry because with the right settings and rules in place, it can be a key part of climate change reduction.
“We can do this by adhering to best practice, supporting those doing good in the market via education, and learning from those who are doing carbon credits well like CarbonClick.”
At COP21 every country agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees, to adapt to the impact of a changing climate and to make money available to deliver on these items.
Dave says the 1.5 degree threshold is important because every fraction of a degree of warming will result in the loss of lives and livelihood.
While COP27 may not have delivered the desired steps for implementation, some foundations have been created leading into COP28 next year in Dubai. Dave says “At COP28, we will need to be seeking not only agreement on the mobilization of contributions to the loss and damage fund, but more importantly a robust plan to actually reduce emissions, including reducing and phasing out fossil fuel production and reliance, and substituting this for clean energy pathways.
“In the meantime, let’s focus on the big picture and wins that are achievable right now – make it easy for 90% of consumers who aren’t acting or thinking about climate change and don’t know how to start.
“Our research shows consumers are looking to brands and businesses to show them how to act more responsibly, and to provide easy options and steps to do this. So rather than trying to get the other 10%, who are already on track, to do more, we need to raise awareness across the 90% and give people easy ways to get started.”