Klimatupprop!

Vår nya regering har knappt hunnit tillsättas, men visar redan tydligt hur klimat- och miljöfrågor nedprioriteras på ett alarmerande sätt – inte minst genom nedläggningen av Miljödepartementet. Vi är många som vill se fokus på klimat- och miljöfrågor för att ge Sverige en chans att ställa om innan det är för sent.

Efter initiativ som ”forskaruppropet” och ”företagaruppropet” vill vi kalla till ett ”medborgarupprop”. Om vi är många som skickar samma uppmaning till vår nya regering kan de få ministrar som faktiskt ser allvaret i situationen få stöd som möjliggör en förändring. Tillsammans kan vi göra vår röst hörd!

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Skriv Klimatupprop i ämnesraden och fyll i ditt namn nederst

Hej!

“Behandla klimatkrisen som den akuta och livsavgörande kris den är, och visa starkt politiskt klimatledarskap! ”

Så skriver 1944 forskare och anställda i forskarvärlden i en debattartikel i Aftonbladet riktad till Sveriges politiker i slutskedet av valkampanjen 2022.

I samma tidning kan man någon vecka senare ta del av en debattartikel på samma tema med en uppmaning från över 200 företagare, till våra politiker att skapa kraftfulla och förutsägbara klimat- och framtidsvänliga strukturer att verka i.

“Vi som skrivit under denna debattartikel vill inte vara tvåa på bollen. Vi vill fortsätta ligga i framkant. Vi vill gå före och visa resten av världen att en omställning inte bara är möjlig, utan att den också är ett recept för affärsmässig framgång. Det är här ni politiker kommer in i bilden. Vi klarar nämligen inte att gå hela vägen själva. Vi behöver både incitament och tuffare regleringar från er sida, eftersom sådana krav gör oss bättre. Vi behöver långsiktiga spelregler och tydliga mål, eftersom det ger oss trygghet när vi gör våra investeringar.”

Nu är regeringsbildningen klar och som medborgare i Sverige vill jag rikta samma uppmaningar som forskarna och företagarna till den nya regeringen och till vår nya klimat- och miljöminister Romina Pourmokhtari. Jag hoppas på ett kraftfullt klimatledarskap och på att klimatpolitiska rådets rekommendationer följs. Jag vill – precis som forskarna och företagarna – också ha tydliga, långsiktiga och skarpa regleringar för oss alla – såväl företagare som medborgare. Vi är beredda att ta konsekvenserna, men ni måste våga leda vägen!

Mvh

(Ditt namn)

The 1.5 °C goal

On an individual level, to manage the 1.5 °C goal, the global average of greenhouse gas emissions needs to come down to 2.5 tonnes by 2030 and 0.7 tonnes by 2050 (these levels can be raised slightly if new technologies which will be able remove emissions are considered). For 2023, our goal is 3.5 tonnes/per person – public consumption is excluded in these numbers, they only represent what we as individuals directly can affect in our daily lives.

Lifestyle changes

This might seem like an impossible challenge, but remember that the global average is a footprint of 3.4 tonnes CO2e – so it is a feasible goal if we embrace making some necessary changes to our lifestyle and stop seeing the planet as a never ending resource for us to use.

On average our emissions need to decrease by at least 7% every year. However, the amount of emissions per individual varies depending on several factors – from socio-economical to geographical ones. For some, thinking about reducing emissions is not feasible. It is primarily the Global North having a greater historical responsibility and as we are facing a global challenge we need all hands on deck. For those of us who have the privilege of growing up in wealthy countries and safe communities, we might want to consider doing more – to allow for those who cannot act immediately some time to catch up and reach the same level of comfort and security as we might already benefit from. Read more about Climate justice here.

Why is it crucial to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5°C?

We have already reached a global warming of +1.2°C which means we don’t have much time left before we get to +1.5°C. Pledges have been made but not yet implemented. If put in use, they will at best keep temperatures to a +2.6°C rise – which is likely to still be devastating to the planet.

As well as being crucial for people and ecosystems that we stay below +1.5C global warming, it is also key in order to create a more sustainable and equitable society as a whole.

Yearly, 15-20 million people are forced to abandon their homes due to natural disasters caused by climate change. With every rise in temperature, the number of people forced to escape goes up – while keeping the 1.5°C goal would keep more people safe.

GoClimate has developed a carbon footprint calculator as a first step in understanding the true carbon footprint of an individual. Find out your personal carbon emission levels at go climate.com

 References: Aalto University, IGES, Ivanova 2015, Stockholm Resilience Centre. 

Bhadla Solar Power Project

Sometimes we depend on external systems to live a friendlier climate life. Some help us make better choices, and others limit our pool of options, like the source of the daily electricity we consume. In some countries, choosing our source of electricity is possible; in others, not at all. Still, we use electricity for almost everything we do. Thus, ensuring that the default source of electricity in countries’ power grids is renewables is a critical structural change.

At GoClimate, we are supporting a Gold Standard project in Rajasthan, India, that does just that. This project replaces the use of fossil fuels to provide clean, renewable energy for the Indian grid from its intense, famously strong sun.

As a result, 779,000 tonnes of CO2 are prevented from going into the atmosphere yearly, equivalent to the total yearly emissions of 34 348 US citizens or 260 534 Vietnamese citizens. At the same time, it has contributed to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

The Context

India is the world’s third-largest energy-consuming country thanks to rising incomes and improving living standards. Energy use has doubled since 2000. However, 80% of its demand is still being met by coal, oil, and solid biomass. India’s government hopes to change this and aims to quadruple renewable electricity capacity by 2030.

The Project

This project is installing a large solar farm to harness the sun’s blistering rays and turn them into renewable electricity. By sending the electricity to the regional grid, it displaces fossil fuel-based power and avoids the associated harmful greenhouse gases. Thanks to this project 180,000+ average Indian households can be powered by renewable energy for a year!

Prony Wind Power project

CO2 emissions from the power sector need to decrease by at least 60% by 2030. With a large variety of technologies available, from biomass to solar energy, renewable projects play a key role in accelerating the low-carbon economy by replacing fossil fuels from the energy mix. The GoClimate community is now supporting Gold Standard certified Prony Wind Power project in New Caledonia, situated in the South Pacific.

Generating sustainable energy from wind 

Islands of the Pacific Ocean, like New Caledonia, face serious environmental and socioeconomic pressures that are excelled by climate change. Pacific Island nations are already severely affected by extreme weather, and their inhabitants are amongst the world’s most vulnerable communities to the growing effects of climate change. Yet in New Caledonia, 80% of energy demands are still met by fossil fuel power plants. New Caledonian authorities have however set ambitious targets – aiming to have 100% of publicly distributed energy originating from renewable sources by 2025.

The Solution


Prony Wind Power includes a total of six wind farms located at two different sites on the island, supplying electricity to the local grid. The Kafeate and Prony sites consist of 116 wind turbines with a total capacity of 31 MW, with an estimated yearly production of 40 GWh of emissions-free, renewable electricity.

The Impact

Prony Wind Power is helping to drive the clean energy transition in regions where there are no previous resources to do so. The project has also boosted local economies by creating job opportunities, while also spreading technological know-how and awareness of climate issues across the island. Prony’s success is a tribute to the viability and value of sustainable development in small island nations, promoting climate action, and ultimately increasing climate resilience in the Pacific Island region.

The following SDG’s are supported:

https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

So far, the GoClimate community has avoided 23 871 ton of CO2 emissions through this specific project!

Climate smart office! 

Moving to a new office is exciting – and by setting the right requirements from the start, it is a great opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint in both the short and long term. This is why we have put together some tips on what is good to have in mind in order to create the right conditions.

Choosing the space

There are various standards for a sustainable building, both international ones but also ones that can vary from country to country. Some to keep an eye out for are the following:

LEED standard – Leadership in Energy and Environment Design

WELL certified – focusing on employee well-being

Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to be close to public transport links if possible, so that employees and visitors can get there in an environmentally friendly way. Another thing to consider where relevant, is to offer safe bike storage for employees opting for biking to work.

Electricity

To think about:

Choose green electricity 

Heating – what is the energy source?

Other factors you may be able to influence are insulation, energy use and LED lights.

Ask the landlord about this at an early stage when you are considering options and make it clear that it is an important criteria – allowing you to negotiate good terms from the start. Electricity use, heating and cooling systems are usually quoted per sqm in the contract, so it is easy to compare if you are looking at several options of premises.

Regarding lighting, you may want to consider whether it is possible to have motion sensors so that the lights are automatically turned off when the office is empty. Or, alternatively, the option to turn off/on centrally at certain hours of the day in all or part of the premises.

You could also look at the possibility of installing your own solar panels on the roof. If you are located in a part of the world where electricity is expensive or particularly “dirty” (if you are Germany based, for example, energy is likely to be coal-fired) this may be particularly relevant. 

Purchasing and choosing IT and electronics

For companies where efficient technology is key, it is important to find good strategies to reduce emissions related to this. There is much to be gained by planning ahead to make good purchases, so that a new purchase does not result in older equipment being obsolete when matched with the new equipment. See our blog post on ‘Planned Obsolescence’ to see what you can do to avoid the pitfalls.

Servers

We’ve written a blog post on the carbon footprint of servers before, which provides good guidance. The quick answer is that the most energy efficient are cloud servers that use green energy. What are your options? Spending a bit of time on doing your research here could make a big difference.

Purchasing electronics

If there is a lot of new equipment to be purchased, make sure you have reasonable contracts with suppliers for service. How long is the warranty? How long is the expected lifespan?

The product description will often state how long a product’s lifetime is, which is an indication for you when it comes to setting standards for upgrades. Dell and Apple laptops have an estimated lifespan of four years, and monitors are estimated at 6 years, but that’s probably on the low side.

An important question is, how long will the product live up to your technical standards? Longevity is often determined by our sense of trend[1]. Apple phones are used a year longer than Samsung despite being technically equivalent (54.5 months vs. 67 months). A product replacement policy should be based on an understanding of this.

Emission benchmarks:

Iphone 11 128GB – 77 kg CO2e

MacBook Pro 15-inch – 334 kg CO2e

Dell desktop computer – 500-600 kg CO2e

Dell monitor – 500-800 kg CO2e

Logitech mouse – just under 3 kg CO2e

In general, Fairphone ranks highest in terms of environmental standards, followed by Apple, then HP and Dell[2]. Logitech also has an ambitious sustainability policy.

Furniture

The footprint of an average office chair is 76 kg CO2e (Antov & Pancheva 2017), about the same as a smartphone. Furniture averages 20-80 kg CO2e per product, with sofas and office chairs having the largest footprint. Of the materials used, steel and foam plastics have the biggest impact. From a broader sustainability perspective, there is much to be gained from investing in sustainable furniture, as good quality extends its lifespan and the furnishings do not need to be replaced.

When choosing an interior design agency, there are options specializing in reuse – research to find your best local options!

Here are some suggestions for companies selling recycled office furniture: 

https://allforsale.se/en/ – Swedish company selling throughout Europe, larger quantities available

https://recycledbusinessfurniture.co.uk/ – UK 

https://www.sustainableofficefurniture.com.au/ – Australia

If you choose to buy new, choose products from companies that make a commitment to the environment, and choose those with a low carbon footprint. 

If you have end-of-life furniture that you want to replace, many companies offer to collect the furniture to ensure that it is recycled properly. Also, see if you can donate or sell furniture that is no longer of use to you.

Refurbishment

When refurbishing, it is important to consider that different materials have varying carbon footprints, with concrete often coming up as a high carbon footprint option. Wood is generally a good material from a sustainability perspective, but there are an incredible number of aspects to consider here. Improving insulation, for example, can be a good investment from a climate perspective, but it depends on many small choices that the person you hire for remodeling should know more about.

Other

Plants soak up carbon dioxide and look good. Whether they actually improve indoor air quality is a matter of debate, but they do contribute a sense of well-being that is overall beneficial.

Add any additional tips you would like us to include, in the comments section!

Climate policy


A climate policy helps employees within a company or organisation to keep the climate in mind when it comes to both big and small decisions, such as travel bookings or catering orders. Here are some examples of what can be included in a climate policy.

Food
We serve vegetarian or vegan food as a standard. Meat is available as an add on. We reduce our food waste by informing employees that there is food left over for them to take home.

Travel
We prioritise digital meetings and train travel. We do not fly domestically. Locally, we travel fossil-free.

Suppliers
We choose suppliers with their own climate and environmental policies in place.

IT equipment
We use IT equipment such as computers and mobile phones as long as they are in working order. They are replaced only when necessary. We give new employees the opportunity to choose second-hand equipment.

Purchasing
We prioritise buying second-hand office furniture, fittings, kitchen equipment, etc.

Couriers and transport
We work with fossil-free couriers.

Pensions
We encourage and facilitate our employees to choose pension suppliers that help rather than hinder climate action.

Giveaways
We do not use giveaways to avoid unnecessary consumtion.

We spread the word
We talk to our customers and suppliers about our climate-friendly choices, spreading the word.

Fuel efficient stoves in Honduras

The GoClimate community is supporting a Gold Standard project financing fuel efficient stoves in Honduras. The installation of these improved stoves does a lot of good. Indoor toxic smoke is being avoided , CO2 emissions are being reduced, trees are saved and new job opportunities created. The non-profit organization selling the carbon offsets to finance the stoves is called Proyecto Mirador.

Open Fire Cooking Causes Problems

Honduras boasts the fourth largest rainforest in the world, but deforestation is occurring at an alarming rate. One of the causes for deforestation is that wood is used as fuel. To lessen deforestation is crucial. Forests help keep our climate stable and regulate our water supply, in addition to providing home to many animal species. Along with the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity is one of the current and most severe threats to the planet today.

The collection and burning of firewood for cooking is a time intensive task in Honduras, usually a burden for women. It destroys precious village-side forests and causes smoke-related health issues. According to the WHO, close to 4 million people globally die each year prematurely from illness attributable to household air pollution from inefficient cooking practices using polluting stoves paired with solid fuels and kerosene.

The project

The fuel efficient stoves combine clean combustion technology with local Honduran cooking practices. They are sold at an affordable price. The combustion process is more clean and efficient, compared to the traditional open fire system. Less fuel is needed and smaller branches can be used. This helps save the forests.

The toxic carbon monoxide is reduced by 79 percent, while the methane emissions are reduced by 94 percent. Reducing methane has a substantial positive impact on the climate. It’s a powerful greenhouse gas and the second largest contributor to global warming.  The gas has a global warming potential over 80 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20-year horizon. Methane has a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide – only twelve years, compared to up to hundreds for CO2 – so cuts in methane will limit temperature increase faster than cuts to carbon dioxide.

The project has the potential to mitigate 225 000 tonnes of CO2 yearly. To understand how much this is, the EU average CO2 emissions per person and year is 6.8 tonnes. 225 000 tonnes correspond to the emissions of more than 30 000 people living in Europe. 

Economic Benefits

Apart from the positive impact on the environment and Honduran people’s health, the Mirador project provides economic benefits. Women now have more free time for other activities, and can spend money previously reserved for fuel on other essentials. A microenterprise program also runs alongside this project, training entrepreneurs and providing specialized parts to build and install the stoves. 17 thriving microenterprises have expanded to provide 170 local jobs in areas where reliable employment is difficult to find.

The following SDGs are supported

Clean Water Project in Cambodia

The GoClimate community has contributed to a ceramic water purifier project in Cambodia. The project helps improve public health, avoid CO2 emissions and reduce deforestation. Previously, no ceramic water purifier programs have been commercially viable in Cambodia. With the assistance of carbon finance, this project is economically sustainable.

In total, the project has the potential to provide clean drinking water to an estimated 312,000 households over 7 years. GoClimate’s offsetting 6,700 tonnes CO2 is a part of this. Thank you to all our members who have contributed!

The Importance of Clean Water and the Problems with Getting Access to It

In Cambodia, the majority of the population boils water (to make it safe for drinking) on wood fire stoves. Many people do not use any sort of purifying process at all. Drinking unpurified water can lead to illnesses, where young children are particularly vulnerable. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, lack of access to safe drinking water is one of the biggest threats to humanity today. 

In the cases where the water is boiled, the smoke from the fire can have very harmful effects on respiratory health. Women and children are particularly exposed, spending a lot of time doing household work.  

Boiling is an energy intensive and time-consuming purification method, often involving burning wood. Burning wood leads to emissions of CO2, as well as to deforestation. To lessen deforestation is crucial as forests help keep our climate stable and regulate our water supply, in addition to providing home to many animal species. Along with the climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity is one of the most severe threats to the planet today.

The Solution

The project sells ceramic water purifiers to families across Cambodia. Once the water has passed through the ceramic filter the clean water is stored in a plastic container, giving safe drinking water at just a turn of the tap. No wood is needed, easing the pressure on Cambodia’s vulnerable forests. In addition, the CO2 emissions that would have come from boiling are omitted. 

Other Benefits

Cleaning water through ceramic water purifiers is good for the forests and the climate. 

Furthermore, as indoor smoke is reduced, respiratory health improves, while clean drinking water is an essential component to combatting diarrheal illness. The overall public health is improved, and this helps stimulate economic activity. Rural households save the cost for buying wood, as well as save the labour spent on preparing the water. Their resources are freed up for other activities.

The filters are produced at a purpose-built factory in Cambodia providing employment opportunities to locals. The filters have a number of low-interest financing options and many are sold to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who offer them at a subsidised price.

The project contributes to the following SDGs:

Low-carbon Public Transport in Delhi

In busy Delhi, with more than 18 million inhabitants, air pollution is a big problem. In addition to causing severe health problems – air pollution caused 1.9 million deaths worldwide in 2019- the emissions from traffic harm us and our one and only planet.

To address this, GoClimate has contributed to the Gold Standard project Regenerative braking technology for DMRC. This project aims at transforming the public transport system operated by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). By increasing the system’s energy efficiency, the project has the potential to mitigate CO2 emissions by on average 47 000 tonnes per year. This reduction corresponds to cutting the yearly emissions from nearly 10 000 people living in India.

Technological Innovation

The project increases energy efficiency in the DMRC transport system by replacing old car brakes with new regenerative braking technology. The regenerative braking technology conserves electrical energy, reducing energy consumption from the electricity grid, leading to cuts in GHG emissions. As of 1st June 2021, DMRC has constructed a massive transport network of around 389 km with 285 stations, meaning that many people are able to commute in an energy efficient way.

What else has the project contributed to?

The project has created both new jobs and training opportunities. The project owner also engages in a number of community initiatives, for example creating the popular Delhi Metro Museum.

This project contributes to the SDGs 4, 7, 8, 9 and 13.