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Top Sustainability News #2

Alexandre Risser
"The truth behind carbon offsetting

Have you already thought about offsetting/contributing to an emission reduction project to tackle your carbon footprint? This podcast goes through the process and highlights interesting facts about the differences in footprint calculation depending on the data used. Nowadays, we can estimate our negative impact through CO2 equivalent, so that we can take into account other greenhouse gases, such as methane, azotes, depending on their impacts on climate change. However, some of the negative impacts are going beyond the CO2 dimension, such as the example of a plane's impact that by creating clouds can increase its effect on global warming. Additionally, the podcast stresses the  benefits of contributing to emission reduction projects, specifically the co-benefits associated with them. Changes to local practices have been brought by carbon offsets to improve the local populations' lives in the Kenyan project through the development of improved cookstoves, which avoid deforestation and reduce smoke in the households linked to wood burning. The concluding arguments challenge us to think about how we live and what actions we can take to reduce our carbon footprint. Always keep in mind that reducing our carbon footprint is priority and thus offsetting should only be used to complement this and not the other way around!

Link to the Podcast: 

"Court Faults France Over' Ecological Damage' From Its Emissions Levels"

Is there growing public pressure to force states to take ambitious climate commitments to meet their climate pledges? We know that the need for change concerns all different types of actors worldwide. A French court ruled on Wednesday that France had caused "ecological damage" by insufficiently reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is a landmark decision that environmentalists said they hoped would be more than merely symbolic as such cases are increasingly brought to courts internationally.
In France, the civil society organized itself around environmental NGOs, with a petition gathering more than two millions signatures and succeeded to pressure the French government to adopt measures to set-up more robust environmental protection regulations. Even if the government only had to pay €1, this was purely symbolic; however, the importance is that it has been forced to act and has two months to implement new policies. This reminds us of the power of an individual. As seen during the side events of the COP, the growing pressure from the public pushes the country's delegations to negotiate ambitious international environmental agreements. Civil society and individuals have a key role in the fight against Global Warming! 

"Growth Is Only Real When Shared With Biodiversity, Says The New Dasgupta Review

"The review calls for a radical change of perspective, in which every resource has its right place and the care it deserves." The 20th and the beginning of the 21st century have marked a significant reduction in biodiversity, while GDP production increased significantly. Are we reaching a turning point and realizing how important biodiversity is? After the Voluntary Carbon Market's blueprint was released last week, the UK Treasury published the Dasgupta Report. This report aims to support the idea that sustainable development and GDP are not antagonistic, and that biodiversity should not be excluded from the calculations. Supporting Nature-based Solutions (actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits), is an efficient way for organizations to preserve biodiversity and prevent potential natural ecosystem losses. 
 We will be publishing an article in two weeks to analyze if economic growth can happen while still tackling climate change. 

Link to the article: 

"MyEasyCarbon: a reporting app that justifies behavior's changes"

In line with Label Bas Carbone (a French standard that allows the development of emission reduction projects on the French territory), MyEasyCarbon created an app to facilitate agricultural projects development. Farmers can track their efforts to have better farming outcomes. The app’s objective is to extend their monitoring capabilities to other project types.  Label Bas Carbone is growing fast, and new methodologies are regularly validated (recently orchards, hedges), and new ones are coming (methanization, mangroves, use of low carbon material). Due to the growing demands for local impact from French organizations, this new market is quickly progressing and increasingly offering qualitative projects. 

Article written by Alexandre Risser