News article

What will the progress in environmental sustainability look like in 2023?


As the year is coming to an end, we are reflecting on some key progresses that have been made in the climate action space in 2022. Besides the breakthrough agreement on a new “Loss and Damage” fund for vulnerable countries at COP27,  yesterday’s  COP15 announcement that parties agreed to “protect a third of the planet for nature and restore a third of the planet’s degraded ecosystems by 2030” is a landmark deal signed by 190 countries to safeguard our planet’s biodiversity. These ecosystems are intertwined with carbon sequestration and promote resilience to climate change.

Carbon credits have been used to protect forests that absorb our CO2 emissions from destruction. As part of this, the preservation of biodiversity is a crucial co-benefit. 

In 2022, industries and governments have (mostly) been working towards better carbon reduction strategies, however, consumption and travel and the associated emissions continue to increase. While not all carbon emissions can be reduced or avoided as quickly as we need it, high quality carbon offsetting is a weapon to combat those emissions now. 

With regards to carbon credits, CarbonClick welcomes the amount of scrutiny we’ve seen in the news this year. We have taken a closer look at those criticisms, read our blog here

This week, Forrester has launched its first environmental sustainability predictions report. Below we’re taking a closer look at what is being anticipated. 

The role of carbon offsetting in 2023

Carbon offsetting will play a major role in 2023, but needs better regulation. Unfortunately, like most industries, the carbon offset industry has a few bad operators. What’s needed to fix this is better accountability and higher minimum standards of the quality of carbon credits. This year, CarbonClick has called on industry leaders to implement policies around this at COP27. Read more here about what’s needed to achieve high integrity carbon offsetting. 

Corporate travel in 2023

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses were forced to reduce travel. At the same time, they have had the unique opportunity to test new ways of working that can reduce their emissions along with other benefits. We can expect to see corporate policies to continue to limit travel in favour of sustainability and cost savings. This is being done by tracking travel emissions data, so that boards and management can easily recognise, report on, and compensate for historic emissions caused by travel. 

If business travel cannot be avoided, carbon offsetting is a way to reduce the impact. Some companies have already adopted better habits and manage their travel requirements in a more sustainable way. Corporate travel marketplace Locomote, in partnership with CarbonClick, for example, enables corporate travellers to manage their carbon emissions in one place. 

Better standards are coming

In 2023, we are expecting to see more regulation impact the carbon industry, with four key global change trends to be highlighted:

1 – The industry is moving to demand more transparency around carbon accounting (disclosing what emissions are being measured and how, such as scope 1 & 2 or scope 3), so consumers and stakeholders can understand the footprint, compare and make more informed decisions.

2 – There also is noise about increased regulation to transparency in carbon offsetting, disclosing which offset projects have been supported in order to reach the claimed net zero status, so consumers and stakeholders can judge how impactful the claims are. 

3 – Methane will be more targeted with regulations, specifically addressing methane emissions reductions in the short term. Although shorter lived, it provides ~80x more greenhouse effect than CO2 and therefore needs to be addressed separately.

4 – Better methods of measurement of national and international greenhouse gas emissions. Atmospheric GHG emissions are rising faster than disclosures and current measurement can account for. This points towards significant under-reporting from industry and nations so this needs to be clarified in order to know where to focus our decarbonisation priorities. One would therefore expect legislation to allow centralised global satellite monitoring or similar to be proposed during COP28 in Dubai. 

While we hope significant advances to be made next year, one thing is certain: at CarbonClick, we will continue to hold ourselves accountable  to the highest quality standards for high-impact carbon offsetting.  If you’d like to advance in the sustainability space in 2023, supporting  the world’s most meaningful carbon offset projects – contact us.

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