CARIBBEAN PROPERTY MAGAZINE
Living, Working and Investing in the Caribbean
S P E C I A L F E A T U R E S
Carbon for Water on the Travel Exchange - Climate Caring
by Michael Buick
As responsible travellers most of us would not dream of dumping our litter on pristine beeches, or staying in hotels that poured waste chemicals straight into the sea.
Yet there is one type of pollution that we all contribute to – the pollution that is causing climate change. The atmosphere that surrounds our beautiful planet is very thin, like a layer of tissue around a beach ball.
One vital function is to keep ‘space-ship earth’ a pleasant temperature to live on. Sunlight passes through the atmosphere and heats the ground, and some of this heat radiating back out to space is trapped by ‘greenhouse gases’, keeping the global average temperature at a pleasant 14.4 degrees Celsius.
The problem is that humans have become very effective at adding more and more greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.
Because this is invisible, and its impact difficult to spot at first, it has been all to easy to ignore. Our global economy has grown up turning a blind eye to its carbon pollution.
Climate Care was set up a decade ago to do something about this. Our founder, Mike Mason, saw that the key to greening the global economy was to give carbon emissions a price – polluters have to pay, and reducers get rewarded.
This is the principle behind ‘carbon offsetting’ – buying carbon reductions to compensate for your own unavoidable emissions.
You measure your impact on the climate and pay Climate Care to reduce the same amount, through funding green energy projects around the world. Carbon offsetting is not an excuse to keep on polluting, but an essential tool to deal with the carbon you can’t avoid, just as recycling deals with unavoidable waste.
For example one person’s return flight from London to New York will produce an estimated 1.5 tonnes CO2, which will cost around £12 to offset.
This may seem very cheap, but there are so many opportunities where small amounts of money can fund large reductions.
Put simply, credible carbon offsets direct your money wherever in the world it can make the biggest impact.
For example in India a simple water pump, being promoted by a local organisation with funding from Climate Care, is transforming the lives of rural farmers such as Mr Pyari.
Powered by foot, it replaces diesel pumps that are costly to hire, and not reliably available to the most poor. The result?: Mr Pyari has healthier crops, twice the annual income and he is no longer forced to leave his family for 6 months a year to find work in the city.
The switch saves the climate around half a tonne of CO2 per year – for a cost of only 1260 rupees per pump (£15). It will take a solar panel on a UK home 2000 years to make the same carbon savings that the treadle pump project will make in a single year with the same investment (around £12,000 per 2kWh panel).
If we are serious about tackling climate change we have to help fund reductions abroad as well as working hard to reducing our carbon footprints at home.
When you buy your offset you want to know that a real reduction in pollution has been made and that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
All Climate Care’s projects accredited to an internationally recognised standard - an independent body approves each project and checks that the carbon savings are made.
By using a basket of different projects – wind energy, water pumps, efficient cookstoves – we make sure that the success of your offset doesn’t depend on any one in particular.
Thanks to our customers we’re starting to make a significant impact – we have delivered over 1 million tonnes of carbon savings, and in 2008 expect to fund savings equivalent to 1% of the UK’s total annual carbon emissions.
Want to take responsibility for your unavoidable carbon impact? And support the global ‘green energy’ revolution? www.climatecare.org
Author : Michael Buick. ClimateCare.org is based in Oxford UK. We have a highly experienced team of a balanced blend of environmentalists, scientists, engineers, account managers, marketers and project managers, our team has substantial experience of originating, developing, supplying and marketing the highest quality offsets (both CERs and VERs) in the Voluntary Carbon Market. As well as our head office team in Oxford, Climate Care’s sister organisation – Pioneer Carbon - is based in Nairobi, Kenya with offices in South America and Turkey, and works on the ground to originate projects in the low carbon technologies we need to tackle climate change. We are expanding rapidly and in rty_Magazine/i2007/8, we plan to open retail and project offices in several countries around the globe to continue offering high levels of service to our expanding client base.