Culatra 2030 wants to combine economy with environmental sustainability. There is something very special happening on Culatra Island. This unique space in the country is
The debate on climate action has recently been invaded by the term “Carbon Offsetting”. Peggada explains to you what is this thing of creating a market to exchange carbon and why this has been such a hotly debated measure in the latest climate negotiations.
What is Carbon Offsetting?
As the term indicates, Carbon Offsetting is an offset strategy. This strategy assumes the creation of a carbon trading market whereby an entity can continue to emit the same amount of carbon if it offsets those emissions elsewhere in the world. In other words, and in practical terms, it is as if you can continue to fly 5 times a year if you have 10 trees planted. This has been a strategy usually presented as a mitigation measure for climate change but it has its own controversial side.
What is it used for?
A carbon offset system can also be interpreted as a transition strategy. It is well known that all industries will have to start thinking about a strategy to achieve carbon neutrality in time to avoid a climate disaster. However, certain industries such as cement or aviation are more emissions-intensive than others, and there is little scope for them to thrive without putting great pressure on the planet. In an attempt to realize a socially just transition that does not neglect the rights of workers connected to such industries, this strategy can be used to soften the impact that a more radical change would have. In short, while they find solutions (technological and otherwise) to their impact, these entities can at least neutralize their emissions by contributing to emission reductions in another area.
What can it mean?
This is not a consensus strategy in the world of climate action. While organizations like WWF speak of this strategy as a practical and useful last resort, Greenpeace is much more critical of it, painting it as a “license to pollute.” This is because an offset does not necessarily mean a reduction, and many believe that this strategy ignores precisely that, and that it is therefore to some extent a false solution, i.e. another moment of greenwashing. Basically, and going back to the previous example, it is not because I plant 10 trees that I stop emitting the equivalent of 5 flights.
Entities such as Greenpeace suggest this strategy may only represent a reinforcement of the status quo unable to address the root of the problem.
Permission to pollute?
The creation of a carbon trading market has potential, for success and for disaster. If misused, this strategy can mean yet another permission to continue polluting, or it can even give the message that any amount of money is capable of correcting excessive carbon emissions. On the other hand, this may still be an essential transitional measure that can speed up the creation of a paradigm in which companies, governments and individuals are forced to think of ways to offset their emissions.
This will be a measure capable of speeding up decarbonization at a global level only if it is understood at the same time as an obligation to stop polluting. If we all start flying more because we can plant trees on the other side of the planet to compensate then the strategy has lost its catalytic effect of a climate transition since the problem has not been solved at the source.
Leonor (better known as Nônô) inherited the taste for nature from her paternal grandfather, who used to carry seeds in his pockets to plant them when the time was right. She founded the Environmentalist Nucleus at the University where she graduated, was involved in civil disobedience movements for climate justice, and studied in London where she tasted the best veggie burger she knows to date. She pursued a master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations because it is an area she considers key to create a paradigm for climate justice. She went to Paris to deepen her knowledge in sustainability and later to write a thesis in the same area. Proud of her pots of mint and basil, an avid reader, a fan of afternoons spent around the table, an apologist for simplicity. She suspects she would be happy with a vegetable garden and a profession associated with sustainability and human rights.
Ulisses Correia e Silva, Cape Verde’s prime minister, and António Costa, prime minister of Portugal, signed on January 23 a memorandum of understanding that formalizes
This recipe by Sofia Magalhães is a great option to take advantage of the cherries that are so typical at this time of year. May
Sustainable Development Goals
This article addresses an action that promotes the adoption of urgent measures to fight climate change and its impacts. SDG 13 also aims to improve education on climate change mitigation and impact reduction.