Skip to content
Home » Making a meaningful difference to the green agenda

Making a meaningful difference to the green agenda

The devasting effects of climate change are being witnessed around the world as we are fast approaching a 1.5°C rise in global temperature – a crucial tipping point after which irreversible damage will be done. To curb global warming, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% compared with 2019 levels – taking CO₂ levels from 410 parts per million (PPM) to 350 PPM or below. Yet currently, the combined Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), countries’ climate pledges under the Paris Agreement, would mean only a 10% cut in greenhouse gas emissions, putting the world on track for a 2.5°C increase.

So, what about Article 6? As public funds won’t be sufficient to finance developing countries’ NDCs, most emission reduction activities need to be implemented and financed by the private sector. To facilitate this, appropriate financing solutions are required, and this is where Article 6 of the Paris Agreement can help.

Article 6 acknowledges that countries can pursue voluntary cooperation in the implementation of their NDCs to enable for higher mitigation ambition and to promote sustainable development. Article 6.2 outlines the possibility of cooperative approaches and the transfer of Internationally Transferrable Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs) between different actors, including countries and private sector companies, through bilateral agreements. ITMOs use a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) metric for a new set of market provisions or other greenhouse gas mitigation outcomes that are defined under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement.

The mechanisms set out under Article 6.2 on cooperative approaches also underline that beyond emissions reductions, climate mitigation projects can directly or indirectly yield many development benefits – including job creation, technology transfer to increase access to energy, support to livelihoods, food security, and more.

Investing money in renewable energy can be one of the many ways to protect our planet from the ravages of climate change. The world needs more green energy to replace fossil fuels as an energy source, and strong demand tends to make a good case for energy investments.

When the global economy is strong, demand for power soars and its price grows. This means that the value of companies producing power begins to rise. As the renewable energy industry heads through 2023, soaring demand and attractive, long-term incentives are creating strong tailwinds.

Since 2010, the UK has seen a more than 500 percent increase in the amount of renewable electricity capacity connected to the grid, while through ‘Contracts for Difference’ scheme contracts totalling almost 27GW of new low-carbon capacity have been awarded to date.

This trajectory is set to continue. By 2050, about half of global energy production is expected to come from renewables – the shift requires huge amounts of energy investment. And there is already evidence that Britain’s biggest energy companies are putting their money where their futures are.

The sector is at the forefront of technological development, and cutting-edge research is leading to lucrative breakthroughs in increasing generation capacity. It benefits from worldwide government support, including pledges from many countries to reduce their carbon footprints – requiring greater use of renewable energy.

In order to meet these targets for radically reducing emissions, investment in renewable energy must continue, and it presents a sustainable investment strategy for anyone looking for long-term returns.

Greenwashing tactics and carbon offsetting simply do not work, and while it might seem some have their heart in the right place, we need to look at supporting strategies and technologies that actually work instead of lulling consumers into a false sense of security with seemingly carbon neutral products that do not stand up to interrogation of any kind.

Indeed, the concept of corporate carbon offsetting is not just a licence to pollute, but an incentive. Without the damage in the first place – emissions or ecological damage – there is nothing to offset. Offsetting schemes provide a good story that allows companies to swerve away from taking meaningful action on their carbon emissions. Ecosystem protection (and restoration, whenever possible) must become the default, not the add-on.

For example, tree-planting initiatives are frequently lauded by companies as the answer to the climate emergency. Forests are one of our best lines of defence against climate change and restoring them is crucial, but this can’t be a substitute for reducing carbon emissions in the first place.  

A newly planted tree can take as many as 20 years to capture the amount of CO₂ that a carbon offset scheme promises. We would have to plant and protect a massive number of trees for decades to offset even a fraction of global emissions. We can’t ignore the reality – there’s no way we can plant our way out of the climate emergency. Faster, more effective solutions are needed.

The whole concept of corporate greenwashing, where businesses exploit the vagueness of green terminology to appear environmentally conscious, is problematic for many reasons. It misleads investors and consumers, who are genuinely seeking environmentally friendly options, to believe that they are purchasing from brands that are biodegradable, ethically sourced or carbon neutral – misleading people into acting unsustainably and buying more from irresponsible, misleading sources.

At 350 PPM, we’re focussed on incubating and accelerating the development of environmental businesses and projects around the world that physically reduce the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere.

From cutting-edge advancements in catalysed fusion, and waste carbonisation plants, to research and development that will supercharge battery energy storage systems and solar deployment, the vision, expertise and desire to succeed are ready. We now need to move beyond the green energy myths and move investment to match the real opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *