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Top Sustainability News #13

Alexandre Risser
You don't want to miss out on the latest news related to carbon markets and sustainable development. Find out our Top Sustainability News! 

Claims + Credibility: Embracing Diversification to Scale Carbon Markets

The purpose of this article is to question the role of the Voluntary Carbon Market and to show that it has the potential to fight climate change efficiently. "A 1.5C-consistent pathway requires a 45% cut in global emissions by 2030 from 2010 levels; a 2C pathway requires a 25% cut." However, the NDCs (National Determined Contributions) published last year shows only a reduction of 0.5% per year. The article insists that governments should be more ambitious with efficient climate planning. 

The Voluntary Carbon Market can significantly bring funding from the private sector to emissions reduction solutions and projects. "It is in nobody's interest for the market to be held back by disagreement over core questions, in particular related to the nature and use of offsets and the role of corresponding adjustments." Disagreements have led to complicated negotiations during the environmental summits (Conference of Parties), with conflict of interest between countries, dividing mainly emerging countries, and developed countries. It is a clear advantage of the Voluntary Carbon Market to have a common interest shared by all actors.

The market can be a substitute to the lack of commitment from governments and would "drive emission reductions and other environmental and social development benefits, particularly in developing countries." To make this possible, it is essential for the market to gain robustness and credibility by avoiding the problems of double-counting and double claiming. It is also necessary to promote a new way of communication by claiming corporate contributions to NDC over corporate offset. This measure would extend the framework of the Voluntary Carbon Market by contributing to the Paris Agreement goals. 

Are we going to change the message from corporate carbon offsetting and corporate carbon neutrality to contributions to National Determined Contributions? 


Why the future of sustainability starts with mobility

OurWorldinData, 2021

Did you know that transportation represents 24% of global emissions?  74.5% of it comes from road vehicles. Transportation has a crucial role to play if we want to fight climate change efficiently. 

Some tips and solutions are already developing: carpooling to reduce traffic congestion, improve urban planning and promote other means of transport. 
The movement restriction linked to the COVID crisis had a significant impact on the quality of air and the reduction of emissions by 8% compared to 2019. 
Progressively, with the vaccines, the situation will go back  to pre-covid levels, and it will be interesting to see if people have changed their way of moving. More and more people are using bikes and commute by walking. Is this going to continue? 

Another impact of the pandemic was the preference of using private cars over public transport, being less sustainable. 
But a solution that has been strongly reinforced during the Covid outbreak is sharing mobility: "the use of different types of transport (cars, mopeds, bikes, and scooters) through shared platforms can contribute to a change in attitudes and practices all over the world." In order to tackle the impact of transportation, a series of different measures will need to be adopted : by individuals through their habits, but also promoted by public administrations. 

The pandemic has raised our awareness about our vulnerability to unpredicted events, habits have been forced to slightly change, and the time to promote more sustainable practices to answer the most significant issue of the 21st century, climate change. 


EU carbon market will be extended to buildings and transport, von der Leyen confirms

The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) will be extended to new fields. The EU ETS remains a strong pillar of the European Union environmental policy. "The scheme forces power plants and industry to buy permits when they emit CO2, effectively putting a price on pollution. Companies can buy and sell these CO2 permits on the carbon market, known as the EU Emissions Trading Scheme." Until now, only power plants and industries have been part of this mechanism. However, the EU Commission President, Von Der Layen has expressed her will to extend its scope to the building and transport industries.

The market works with the notion of "polluters pay" in line with the Kyoto Protocol principle. However, some experts warn that extending the scope of the EU ETS to those areas might have an impact on fuel pricing and immediately affect the poorest.

The market has hit its highest price last week at€47 per tonne of CO2. According to experts, the cost of carbon will not stop increasing. The idea of the EU Commission is to extend the scope of the mechanism to all industries progressively. 


Article written by Alexandre Risser