Let’s get more job-intensive, less carbon-intensive

Published on Fin24 on Oct 02 2018 20:15, written by Louise Naude.

Growth in South Africa’s GDP has stalled, yet significant opportunities to drive a deep and sustainable economic turnaround could be missed if we don’t pay attention.

Initiatives spearheaded by the Presidency, including the Jobs Summit this week, the Investment Summit later in the year, and the recently announced stimulus package are an opportunity to re-orientate the economy to deliver reduced inequality, create jobs and livelihoods, and advance industrialisation, while dealing with the geophysical and socio-economic implications of climate change.

The era of policy making with a blind spot around climate change must be brought to a close. We don’t have the money or time to waste on perversely locking the economy further into a carbon-intensive and climate-vulnerable path.

The Jobs Summit takes place on the eve of the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °Celsius on 8 October. Economic modelling in a publicly leaked draft of the full IPCC Special Report shows that the dangers for economic growth, particularly in developing countries, are significantly greater at average global warming of 2°C than at 1.5 °C.

If the greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity continue on the current trajectory, warming is set to exceed 3°C, by far surpassing the abovementioned 1.5 °C by about 2040. Yet, if we act swiftly and together to make far-reaching changes to be globally carbon neutral by 2050, we can still keep warming below 1.5 °C.

The longer we take, the harder it will be, and the worse and more irreversible the implications.

South Africa will increasingly face trade impacts due to reduced demand for, and trade barriers against, our high-carbon and carbon-intensive exports, such as thermal coal, locally produced iron and steel, and combustion-engine vehicles. Already, the European Union requires a binding reference to the United Nations Paris Agreement in its trade deals.

Redirecting fossil fuel subsidies is an obvious way to start stimulating the emergence of a low-carbon economy and provide for social protection of affected workers. In the liquid fuels sector alone, South Africa’s fiscus hands fossil fuel producers between R6.4bn and R28bn per year, and forgoes between R35m and R4.7bn revenue through indirect subsidies.

This excludes the price support received by Sasol via the regulated fuel price. That’s the President’s stimulus package pretty much funded right there, without having to take monies from education, health, social grants and the like.

Cutting coal is central to a climate solution in the country and globally, and re-skilling and re-deploying workers in high carbon-emitting sectors is critical. We should guard against a new economic path being shaped by the perspectives of carbon-causing companies serving their special interests behind a smokescreen of overnight job losses.

An article published on Fin24 reports that South Africa’s Standard Bank and multinational Standard Chartered Bank have adopted policies to stop funding any new coal-fired power plants. Lower investment risk is starting to swing away from carbon-intensive to lower carbon, and a tipping point will leave the country and investors with stranded fossil fuel assets and business models, and accelerating job losses.

Both the science and economic trends are clear that climate action is urgent. All government programmes and expenditure, including the President’s stimulus package, should pull in a low-carbon direction, and private investors and lenders would be well advised to do so too.

Not to do so is perverse, shoring up economic and business models that undermine development.

The required profound decoupling of development from fossil fuels and other causes of emissions opens up the opportunity to address other deep-seated systemic features of South Africa’s economy. However, there is no guarantee that a transition to a low-carbon economy will do so unless explicitly managed by a developmental state, and driven by businesses and labour with foresight. WWF advocates a Just Transition Taskforce spearheaded by the Presidency, and housed within The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

The flip side of a necessary winding down of the role of fossil fuels in our economy will be the opportunities to be found in a low-carbon economy, which is where the greatest potential for economic development and exponential returns on investment off a low base lie. Decisive and swift action in this direction can create a competitive advantage for South African businesses ahead of the pack.

Here are a few ideas:

•  Focus on the growing market for metals and minerals necessary for manufacturing ‘clean’ technologies.

•  Beneficiate minerals used to make electric and hybrid vehicles, and localise the assembly and manufacturing of these vehicles.

•  Localise production of water treatment and water conservation technologies.

•  Re-use industrial and household waste as inputs for manufacturing. (Moves to formalise waste economies must involve informal waste workers.)

•  Adopt climate-smart agricultural crops and practices which conserve soil carbon and reduce water use, to expand food security and rural livelihoods.

Certainly, cutting coal is central to a climate solution in the country and globally, and fortifying workers in high carbon-emitting sectors, is critical. A Nedlac task team on the carbon tax is focusing on plans for the workforce and businesses in exposed sectors.

We should guard against a new economic path being shaped by the perspectives of carbon-causing companies serving their special interests behind a smokescreen of overnight job losses.

But a fixation on a fossil fallout means we are not facing forward to greenfield job creation and intensification, and risk keeping the economy stuck in the doldrums as the world passes us by.

The workforce must be skilled in anticipation of participation, job creation must be decent, women’s under-employment can be addressed, job-intensive business models need to be pursued. The Jobs Summit needs to build climate considerations into all job creation and investment initiatives. The Summit’s agenda is to align efforts of every sector and every stakeholder behind the imperative of job creation – let that be climate-smart job creation within a just transition.

Climate Neutral Group once again ICROA certified

Climate Neutral Group, with offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, is the only Dutch carbon offset provider which is a member of ICROA. As such it is also the only offset provider in South Africa which is an ICROA member.

The ICROA Code aims to define international best practice for offset-inclusive carbon management and represents the minimum requirements that all ICROA members must meet. It is applicable to voluntary carbon management services provided by ICROA members and covers the following four areas; Carbon Footprinting, GHG emission reduction advice, Offsetting and Communication.

We are proud to announce that we once again succeeded our 2017 audit with a positive outcome. Here you can find our certificate and corresponding letter.
In summary, we commit to the following as an ICROA member:

• Perform carbon measurement in accordance with international standards (e.g. WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocols and ISO 14064)
• Encourage clients to set challenging targets to go beyond business-as-usual
• Encourage clients to assess emission reduction opportunities and prioritise cost-effective actions
• Use credible carbon credits in accordance with international standards and programs (refer to next section for list of permitted sources of carbon credits)
• Use third-party registries to retire and remove carbon credits used for offsetting
• Encourage clients to communicate their carbon status and footprints, including emissions associated with the organisation, product, service or event, as well as details about actions to reduce and offset emissions

As an ICROA member we commit to use carbon credits that are or will be validated, verified and registered under the Gold Standard, VCS and CDM standards. These standards offer you the security that our carbon offset projects are accurately monitored on an annual basis. Together with our ICROA membership, this ensures a portfolio of reliable carbon offset projects.

The Race to Net Zero

While many of the top 100 companies listed on JSE Limited are currently calculating their carbon footprints, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Before long, most companies will need to calculate, reduce and disclose their environmental impact as a regulatory requirement. – and not just as part of an energy audit. This will likely lead to organisations requiring a team of carbon footprint reduction champions.

It is ironic that technical people are mostly responsible for calculating carbon footprints, while commerce people are responsible for doing the audits. If we do not find a way to establish a common ground for those calculating the footprints and those checking them, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

The 11th annual Green Building Convention is one of the key annual events that is organised by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) that acts as a check in and building of common ground for all major market players and advocates of the green building movement. This year the convention theme is: THE RACE TO ZERO. The focus will be on buildings that achieve net zero carbon emissions, as well as building with net-zero water, waste and ecological impact.

This is in line with one of the latest and most exiting initiatives of the GBCSA: the ‘Net Zero’ Programme. Imagine a world where the built environment does not simply minimize its impact, but achieves neutrality or positive carbon emissions (i.e. a building that absorbs more greenhouse gas pollution compared to what it generates)?
A Net Zero/Net Positive carbon building is a radical idea and is defined by the GBCSA as “Highly energy-efficient buildings, with remaining energy demand supplied by on-site and/or off-site renewable sources, or through offsets”.

However, the GBCSA’s Net Zero Certification Scheme goes one step further by rewarding projects for completely neutralising (Net Zero) or positively addressing (Net Positive) their environmental impacts. This is not only for carbon, but also for water, waste and ecology. Net Zero certification is awarded over and above any project’s Green Star certification.

Should a project make use of carbon offsets to help achieve net zero or net positive status, then only African offset projects that are registered under one of the international carbon standards, the Gold Standard (GS) or the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) are be eligible. A building project and/or property developer that make use of offsets would also be able to strengthen its CSI mandate, depending on the type of offset project it supports.Just imagine the build environment and world that awaits us!

For help along your climate journey, get in touch or speak with us at the Green Building Convention, 3 – 5 October 2018 at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town.

Franz Rentel
Country Director – South Africa at Climate Neutral Group
Franz.Rentel@climateneutralgroup.com

Dr Marco Lotz
Nedbank Sustainability Carbon Specialist
marcol@nedbank.co.za

Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends

Original article was written by  Kelley Hamrick and Melissa Gallant.
Forest-Trends.org Jul 27, 2018, Click here to view full article and download the report.

Since trading of voluntary carbon offsets first took off in the late 2000’s, voluntary carbon projects have helped to reduce, sequester, or avoid over 437.1 MtCO2e–equivalent to notconsuming over one billion barrels of oil. These projects are supported by companies, individuals and governments purchasing carbon offsets, whose growing demand resulted in a record-high of 42.8 MtCO2e retired in 2018.

Yet the carbon markets landscape is changing fast. New compliance markets, in the form of domestic carbon pricing schemes, international trading through the Paris Agreement, or the international airline industry’s CORSIA program, may generate unprecedented levels of demand for carbon offsets. How those markets are designed and implemented will determine whether voluntary carbon markets thrive, adapt, or diminish.

To reflect the rapidly changing carbon markets landscape this year, we are excited to announce our new mini-report, Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends, that examines the key trends that have emerged in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018. In this report, we present:

  • Key findings from the last decade of voluntary carbon project activity.
  • New insights about 2018 first-quarter trends of voluntary carbon offset issuances, transactions, and retirements.
  • Upcoming policy decisions that might radically change the voluntary carbon markets in upcoming years – including an extended analysis of CORSIA.

 

Africa sees 1st carbon neutral brewery amid climate concerns

Original article was written by Neil Shaw, associated press. 
Darling, South Africa — Jul 21, 2018, 5:24 AM ET, Click here to view full article.

A South African brewery is said to be the first in Africa to go carbon-neutral as more businesses across the continent adjust to climate change, and as consumers become more careful about the products they buy.

Darling Brewery, in a village near Cape Town, decreased its carbon footprint by using water and energy more efficiently — then brought it to zero in April by purchasing carbon credits at a reforestation project in Zimbabwe.

The brewery’s overhaul comes as South Africa’s Cape region emerges from an extreme drought that saw the city of Cape Town, population 4 million, rationing water and warning of a “Day Zero” when taps would run dry. The crisis has eased amid water conservation efforts.

“I don’t think a lot of people understand what carbon-neutral means or what impact all the businesses around us are having on the environment,” said the brewery’s owner, Kevin Wood. “The damage being done by climate change has a lot to do with our carbon footprint. Just look at the extreme weather here in the Western Cape.”

Greenhouse gas emissions have damaging environmental impacts such as global warming, acid rain and ozone layer damage, according to the sustainability consultant who conducted a greenhouse gas audit on the brewery, Andre Harms.

Darling Brewery was already known for raising environmental issues via the labels on the 17 beers it produces, educating drinkers about Africa’s threatened wildlife.

Now the labels tell drinkers about the brewery’s carbon-neutral status. “They’ll start connecting the dots and change their consumption habits to more environmentally friendly products,” Wood said.

Darling Brewery opened in 2010 as the craft beer sector exploded in South Africa. When the brewery opened there were 30 others and today there are around 215, according to beer journalist Lucy Corne.

She said craft brewery consumers are more likely to be aware of their carbon footprint than regular beer drinkers, as craft beer is a niche product that only South Africa’s middle class and above can afford.

“I think what Darling Brewery has done is really great for the industry,” Corne said, adding that the shift to carbon-neutral could get other breweries thinking about sustainability measures. “They’re leading the way.”

Globally there are only a handful of carbon-neutral breweries, experts say.

Sustainability consultant Franz Rentel confirmed that Darling Brewery is the first carbon-neutral one in Africa. He said he thinks more companies will follow its example.

South Africa will introduce a carbon credit tax by January, which will affect large emitters and is expected to make products from carbon-neutral companies “the cheaper option,” Rentel said.

As more countries put such taxes into place, large breweries could move toward carbon neutrality as well.

Darling Brewery’s brew master, Rene du Toit, said going carbon-neutral is not just about doing the right thing. “A lot of the measures you put in place to reduce your carbon footprint . make economic sense in the long run: You’re paying less for your water, you’re paying less for your energy, you’re putting out less solid waste.”

Sitting at one of Cape Town’s trendy bars, beer lover Nicole McCreedy said choosing to drink a carbon-neutral Darling Brewery beer is about supporting a progressive South African initiative.

“We’ll see far more of (that) globally, I hope,” she said.

Also interested to be a front-runner and make your products climate neutral? Contact us today via franz.rentel@climateneutralgroup.com and receive more information. We will be happy to assist you and walk this journey together with you.

 

climate change bill, climate change bill south africa, south african carbon law, implementation carbon tax, climate neutral group

First African company announces science-based greenhouse gas target

Original article was published on engineering on 19 July 2018, Click here to view full article.
Emira Property Fund has become the first African and South African company to have a greenhouse gas emissions target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which mobilises companies to set science-based targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy.

In a statement, WWF South Africa said Emira’s science-based target provided a clear road map in line with the ambition of the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming below 2°C. It sets out how much and how quickly the company will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Emira has committed to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 13% by 2022, from a 2015 base year.

 

“We congratulate Emira Property Fund on becoming the first South African company to have their emission reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative,” the WWF’s Alex Farsan said.

 

“By setting targets that align their business with global efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, Emira Property Fund is positioning itself to thrive as the global economy transitions to a low-carbon future.”

Science-based targets are validated by technical experts and can help to safeguard a company’s growth and profitability by keeping business relevant and competitive during a transition to a low-carbon economy.

These targets can also help companies buffer themselves against imminent national policy changes like the South African Carbon Tax Bill, due to be passed in January 2019.

Ten other South African companies, namely ExxaroGrowthpointMediclinicNetcare, Pick ‘n Pay, SPARTiger BrandsTongaatVirgin Active SA and Woolworths have already committed to the international effort to limit global temperature rise with the SBTi, but have yet to have their emissions targets validated.

Are you ready to take your measures to the next step and set science base targets for your company or organization? Contact our expert Silvana Claassen today, silvana.claassen@climateneutralgroup.com for more information.

 

Nishanthi Lambrichs, carbon advisor, carbon advisor south africa, carbon tax, climate neutral group, carbon tax, south africa carbon tax, south african carbon tax, implementation carbon tax, south africa carbon tax

CNG in the Event Greening Forum spotlights

The Event Greening Forum interviewed Nishanthi Lambrichs, CNG carbon advisor and Programme Manager for GreenDreams and GreenSeat. Both initiatives were developed by us to help the accommodation and the travel sectors, respectively, take action on climate change.

Q. WHEN AND WHY DID YOU, PERSONALLY, START TO DEVELOP AN AWARENESS ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY, AND A DESIRE TO CHAMPION IT THROUGH YOUR WORK?

Growing up in a country where it’s the norm to separate your waste, cycle everywhere and take public transport on a daily basis, creates a certain awareness for green living and sustainability. Moving to South Africa was a wake-up call in many ways. I worked in the event industry in the Netherlands and the sustainability aspects are important topics on the agenda. When I moved to South Africa, I realised that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. This inspired me to get involved in the sustainability sector; help set the standard and raise awareness in order to create change.

Q. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT CLIMATE NEUTRAL GROUP SOUTH AFRICA, AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT IT?

I’m a carbon advisor at CNG and mainly focus on assisting companies within the hospitality industry to gain insight into their carbon footprint, enabling them to reduce and offset their emissions. Our GreenDreams initiative helps hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses in South Africa put measures in place to take responsibility for their environmental impact. [You can read an article on The Maslow’s success with this programme here.] I’m also responsible for GreenSeat: our carbon initiative for the travel sector (we would like to refer to it as the boarding pass to climate neutral flying). We offer several unique tools that help businesses measure, change and finally green their business travel habits.

And, last but not least, there’s Climate Neutral Events. The first step we take to create a carbon neutral event would be to get insights into your event’s carbon footprint in order to set a baseline. The second step is to set targets and reduce your carbon footprint. And, because we, unfortunately, can’t reduce the footprint to zero carbon emissions, investing in offsets is a great way to reduce your climate impact. Assisting companies during this journey and making this world a little greener is what motivates me to go to work every morning.

Q. DOES CLIMATE NEUTRAL OFFSET ITS OWN CARBON FOOTPRINT, AND IF SO, HOW? 

Yes, we do offset our own carbon footprint with a basket of various Gold Standard projects: Biogas Tanzania, Kenya and Cambodia.

Q. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CARBON OFFSET PROJECT YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT?

There are currently two projects within our portfolio that I really like. The Wonderbag and, our latest addition, Boreholes in Africa. The Wonderbag is a non-electric heat-retention cooker that allows food that has been brought to the boil by conventional methods to continue to cook for up to 12 hours without using additional energy usage. The Wonderbag offset has significant sustainable development benefits. Firstly, the program creates employment in South Africa, where the bags are used in large numbers. Secondly, field surveys indicate that users of the bags have reduced fuel bills and finally, there is published evidence that reduced consumption of fossil fuels drives down illnesses caused by fumes, smoke, and soot.

The Boreholes in Africa initiative operates in Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, and Eritrea. Here, like anywhere else in the world, clean drinking water is vitally important. Offsetting 1 tonne of CO2 translates into 1.405 litres of clean drinking water for rural households. I think this is a great offset project, especially since access to water is one of the highest threats climate change poses.

Q. IF YOU COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND AND CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE SA EVENTS INDUSTRY TO MAKE IT MORE SUSTAINABLE, WHAT WOULD THAT ONE THING BE?

I find it difficult to pin this down to just one thing, as there are still so many aspects we need to work on. Education and creating awareness for what we try to accomplish is very important though. People need to get a better understanding of what will happen if we don’t take action because we are destroying our beautiful planet if we continue like this.

Transport is an important topic as well, especially since people in South Africa are so used to driving by themselves in their own car to events etc. Of course, safety is playing an important role in this, but organizing more shared transport for events would be a great start. On top of that a lot of people are flying in from different cities, therefore, it would be great to make flight offsetting the norm.

Personally, I’m big on plastic, we should really stop using it, and make conscious decisions to do so as event organizers. For example no straws, but supply bamboo straws instead. At the end of the day, it is better to start with something small, rather than doing nothing at all.

Report: carbon offsetting benefits & drivers

Business Leadership on Climate Action: Drivers and Benefits of Offsetting, a 2017 report by the International Carbon Reduction & Offset Alliance (ICROA), looks at the demand for carbon credits, explains what drives businesses to offset their emissions, and goes into the various carbon offsetting benefits for companies in South Africa and beyond. A summary of the report is found below.

ICROA: Understanding Business Leadership on Climate Action

More can be done to increase action on climate change and close the gap on the global goal of a two degree limit. There is a disconnect between where science says we need to be and how far the Paris Agreement will take us, and the voluntary carbon market is crucial in bridging that gap.

This report considers the current demand for carbon offsetting, what drives businesses to use it as one of its solutions to climate change, and what the benefits are.

Its findings were taken from responses to a survey developed by Imperial College London in consultation with the UNFCCC and ICROA and conducted among respondents across a wide range of sectors, including private, public and non-profit / NGOs.

Putting it all together: recommendations

Based on the report’s key findings, the following recommendations can be put forward to further promote the uptake of offsetting as a solution to bridge the ambition gap on the global goal of a 2°C limit:

1. Carbon offset projects make a valuable contribution to the reduction of GHG emissions. Better recognition of this contribution would demonstrate the value to companies in meeting their climate goals and motivate more businesses to invest in voluntary offsetting. Additionally, this research shows that:

  • There is a positive correlation between knowledge of the voluntary carbon market and confidence in its effectiveness to reduce GHG emissions. A broader understanding of the market from the corporate world would help grow demand
  • Better awareness of the role of offsetting within the carbon management plans of climate leaders would also increase demand

2. Offset buyers should measure their return from investing in voluntary carbon offset projects. 49% of respondents in this survey said they have experienced tangible benefits from voluntary offsetting, though in most cases these benefits are not being measured. Better data on these benefits would help build the case for companies to take voluntary action

3. Demonstrating co-benefits, in addition to carbon mitigation, will increase the return on investment. In turn, this will increase the willingness to invest in voluntary offsetting

This article was published on www.icroa.org.


Work with Climate Neutral Group to measure, reduce and offset your carbon emissions – for better, greener and more competitive business operations! For more information on the various carbon offsetting benefits for your organisation, click here or contact Nishanthi on Nishanthi.lambrichs@climateneutralgroup.com!

New Standard Launched to Accelerate and Measure Progress Toward the Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Targets

Climate Neutral Group is very excited about the publication of the Gold Standard for the Global Goals, which will allow private and public entities to certify a wide range of sustainability benefits and thereby contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Geneva, Switzerland, 10 July 2017.  Gold Standard launches Gold Standard for the Global Goals, a new standard to quantify, certify and maximise the contributions of climate and development interventions toward the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The standard is set to help those who fund life-changing climate and development projects around the world – including businesses, governments and investors – to measure, report and track the full range of benefits they have contributed to. Supported by WWF and other international NGOs, it is also anticipated that the best practice standard will protect against accusations of ‘green-washing’ as well as open up new avenues of funding for large-scale programmes, like green infrastructure and sustainable supply chain interventions around the world.

Marion Verles, Chief Executive Officer of Gold Standard, said: “If we are to keep global warming well below 2 Degrees Celsius and meet the Sustainable Development Goals, climate action must be holistic and high-impact, helping the world develop on a sustainable pathway. SDGs are becoming a huge priority for a range of public and private sector organisations, but accurately measuring and reporting progress has presented a major challenge. Our new standard quantifies and certifies the many additional benefits Gold Standard projects deliver beyond carbon mitigation – for example by providing access to clean energy and water, creating jobs, improving health or protecting natural habitats – providing those who run or fund projects with new opportunities to measure and report their impact.”

Ambassador Franz Xaver Perrez, Head of the International Affairs Division for Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment, said: “When Switzerland looks at its options for meeting parts of its Paris target, we want to ensure that international carbon markets increase global mitigation ambition and encourage activities that go as far as possible toward the greater good. Climate mitigation projects that include strong sustainable development provisions, like those to be certified under Gold Standard for the Global Goals, make achieving the 2030 Agenda closer within reach.”

As well as incentivising more ambitious climate action from public and private sector bodies, the new standard is expected to unlock billions of dollars of funding needed to scale-up clean technology and sustainable development in cities around the globe. Cities emit around 75% of global CO2 emissions, yet less than 15% of global climate finance has reached cities as, according to the World Bank, only 4% of the largest 500 cities in the developing world are credit worthy in international markets. The Standard’s Urban Development module will help developers design and implement best practice projects, and quantify and communicate climate and development impacts such as cleaner air and improved health, to attract investment and gain public support.


 Working with Climate Neutral Group = progressively working towards achieving the SDGs

By REDUCING your carbon emissions you are working towards SDG 9, 11 and 13. By OFFSETTING your emissions, you are going the extra mile. This can be done by implementing, rolling out and investing in clean energy projects from which local communities benefit too. You will be supporting SDG 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6

We offer a range of Gold Standard offset projects:

Work with us to reduce and offset your carbon emissions, save money, help achieve the SDGs, fight climate change, and improve the lives of others.

For more information click here or contact Nishanthi on Nishanthi.lambrichs@climateneutralgroup.com

For more information read the full press release here.

The future is carbon-Priced and the US is getting left behind

Written by: Kristin Eberhard, on June 6, 2017 

As the US pulls out of the Paris Accord, other countries charge ahead towards a clean energy future.

A little over a year ago, 195 countries signed on to the historic Paris Climate Accord to limit global warming pollution. This year, the United States pointed a loaded gun at its own foot, and President Trump pulled the trigger, announcing he will withdraw from the agreement. But the rest of the world is moving ahead with carbon pricing programs that will give other countries a head start in the race to a clean energy economy. Notably, The United States’ neighbors to the north and south are adopting national carbon pricing programs in 2018, and the European Union and China are allying to become global leaders in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Nations and regions making progress

Original Sightline Institute graphic, available under our free use policy.

North Americans are warming to dividends

The carbon prices already in place were worth about $50 billion in 2016, and international action coordinated by the Paris Accord could generate a new stream of revenue in participating nations in future years. Nations and states use the revenue to reduce other taxes, fund clean energy projects,and fill budget holes. And some jurisdictions give some revenue back to the people. The idea of carbon dividends, making polluters pay, and then writing people a check (similar to what Alaska does with taxes on oil production) is gaining ground in North America.interesting?

Author and entrepreneur Peter Barnes has long advocated for the idea that we all have an ownership share in common assets. More than a decade ago, he asked, “who owns the sky?”More recently, he asked, if Thomas Piketty is right that those who make money by owning things keep making more while those who make money by working keep making relatively less, how can we sustain our middle class, our democracy, and our planet? His answer to both questions is: we all have a share in the world’s natural resources, and, like shareholders, we all should receive dividend checks.

Canadians like the idea: Alberta’s carbon tax includes a small rebate, and the federal plan will send some money back to individuals. For nearly a decade, British Columbia has used carbon tax revenue to give money back to people in the form of income tax credit—not as transparent as dividend checks, but a similar idea. Now, BC plans to increase and expand its tax and use the new revenue to deliver rebate checks to ensure a majority of British Columbians are better off financially.

In the United States, California’s cap-and-trade program has always included a dividend in the form of a “climate credit” on everyone’s utility bill. But dividends are the heart of the new roposal for a revolutionary upgrade to California’s program. Between 50 and 90 percent of carbon revenue would go right back to individuals, so everyone in the state would get a check in the mail every quarter. Even if oil corporations ginned up fear that the carbon price was getting too high, everyday people would cheer because their checks would get bigger.

Many working on the California bill see dividends as critical to the bill’s success. California requires a two-thirds majority to pass new taxes, and Chevron sponsored an under-the-radar campaign to pass Prop. 26 in 2010, changing the definition of “tax” to ensure it applies to cap-and-trade too. As a result, California climate advocates must attract some conservative support for the new bill.

Californians’ hope that a carbon dividend might bridge the partisan divide that has stymied progress in the United States may be well-founded. After all, a few months ago, a group of prominent Republicans released the Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends, complete with a TED Talk and meetings with White House officials.

Advocates in Washington DC are also pushing a carbon fee and rebate.

The US hangs back, but the world moves forward

Countries and regions continue to march forward with carbon pricing. China, after years of experience with nine regional carbon pricing programs, is almost ready to institute a national program. Canada and Mexico are also set to roll out national programs. Meanwhile, the United States the United States lags. But California’s trailblazing climate efforts, and some conservative thought leadership on dividends, is laying promising groundwork for US action.

South African business and industries are taking steps towards mitigating the impacts of the proposed carbon tax legislation on their operations and investments. Climate neutral group has services such as the Carbon TaxScan, which helps businesses to measure and understand the amount of carbon tax the business is due to pay. You can reduce your business’ carbon tax liability even further by purchasing carbon tax offsets from our eligible South African offset projects.

Would you like to find out how much carbon tax your business might need to pay, click here for more information or contact on franz.rentel@climateneutralgroup.com