on Sunday September 18, 2022

Updates on Climate Action and a Decarbonization Primer

It can’t be denied that our planet is suffering from the compounding impact of human-caused ills. Still, the human species is capable of awe-inspiring works of compassion, imagination and creation. Collective action toward a healthier society and planet is taking place in every part of the world, and there are so many ways for each of us to join in this work. In this article, we summarize our learnings from the first part of 2022 about climate-related news and initiatives.

Our goal is that climate solution companies are better equipped, are more successful, and, as a result, their climate solutions are applied by wider audiences and at a larger scale, replacing polluting alternatives and technologies.

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

John F. Kennedy

Global Climate Initiatives

In March 2022, 175 nations signed a UN resolution to end plastic pollution by 2024. That is only a little over a year from now, so there is A LOT of work to do. “By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic production, use and disposal, would account for 15% of allowed emissions, under the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C (34.7°F) in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

In August 2022, the US signed a bill for its largest investment to date toward addressing climate change. $369 billion is earmarked for cleaner energy infrastructure

Business and Climate Forum

For the second year in a row, Orange Bird was invited by the International Chamber of Commerce to host a session at the “Climate Action is Everyone’s Business” forum. This year, our session will be a panel discussion on the topic of “Progressive marketing that helps solve the climate crisis instead of stimulating it.” Do you have something to say? If you’re interested in sharing practical experience with sustainable marketing strategies and tactics, and would like to participate as a panellist, send us a message.

Register for the “Climate Action is Everyone’s Business” forum and attend our panel!

Decarbonization and Carbon Offset Projects

As a result of our work with carbon offset project developers during H1 2022, Orange Bird studied the voluntary carbon market and the regulated compliance market to understand what is important to those audiences who want to purchase voluntary offsets as well as those who are required by regulation to offset their emissions. We gained an appreciation of the intricacies involved in the processes of verifying, validating, and retiring credits and how these factors can help potential buyers assess the quality and impact of their offset investment. 

A wide-reaching and deep-impact approach to decarbonization is necessary to hold warming under 1.5C. Both carbon removals and carbon reductions are necessary, and each can be stimulated by carbon offset projects. 

Carbon removal, as the name suggests, means CO2 is actually removed from the atmosphere. Carbon removal projects include nature-based solutions where carbon is sequestered, often in forests, wetlands, or soil projects. For example, Native (a client for which Orange Bird is helping to refresh their website) has developed a project that increases carbon sequestration in the soil through regenerative grazing practices which encourage growth of healthy native grasses that naturally capture carbon. Other carbon removal projects use a mechanical approach, where carbon is physically removed using direct capture technologies. 

Carbon reduction (or carbon avoidance) means carbon dioxide gas or the equivalent (tCO2e) is prevented from being emitted through the implementation of a different process. In an example carbon avoidance project, family farms in Uganda are provided with biodigesters which convert organic farm waste into fuel for cooking and heating. Without the biodigesters, methane gas is emitted to the atmosphere from the decomposing waste, and carbon dioxide is produced from burning firewood for fuel. By using the biodigesters, the methane is captured and used as fuel, eliminating or reducing the need to burn additional firewood. 

Decarbonization Illustration, Carbon Reduction and Carbon Removal | Orange Bird

With climate target deadlines rapidly approaching, there is an increased interest from governments, companies and consumers in decarbonization strategies, although many would say much more needs to be done. We also agree that the main focus should be on re-engineering various manufacturing and logistics processes to stop burning fossil fuels and to prevent greenhouse gasses from being emitted. Still, in many industries engineering advances are required to make it possible (for example, in aviation, electrical and solar-powered engines are being tested but have not yet been implemented in long-range jets). That is why, in mid-term,  the carbon offset market is poised for dramatic growth. For readers who want to learn more, here are some helpful resources about carbon credits and offsets.

Carbon Offset Basics

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