A survey on the view of the individual carbon footprint, climate action taken and GoClimate

During the summer 2021, we conducted a survey among all our members who offset their carbon footprint with GoClimate. 552 people participated, corresponding to 12% of our members at that point in time.

GoClimate members are truly active climate change fighters

25-30% of GoClimate members take climate action that goes far beyond their own lifestyle changes and climate funding contributions. In response to the question “In the last three years, have you done any of the following?”, this is the result:

30% of GoClimate members state that they have participated in climate protests, 71% have signed climate petitions, 27% have been in contact with politicians or their municipality with climate-related issues, 25% have asked their workplace or school about their climate work, 21% have contacted a store or a brand about their sustainability work and 77% has made a major lifestyle change like swapping to a more climate-friendly diet, stopped flying or switching fossil cars to electric ones or bicycles.

This is climate action taken by our members on top of their monthly contribution to important climate financing to move away from fossil based energy systems among others.

The view of one’s own climate footprint

In response to the question of how our members view their personal carbon footprint, 74% states that they are working actively to reduce their footprint. 8% say that they would like to, but don’t know how. Another 7% say that they already have a low footprint and have a hard time lowering it more. 8% say that they are not working actively with reducing their footprint. Several members state that it is difficult to change diet and travel habits completely.

The next focus of GoClimate

We gave eleven suggestions on what the GoClimate team could focus on in the future. The suggestions that got the most votes were a carbon budget tool for individuals (57%), that GoClimate increase the focus on influencing politicians and society through creating opinion, petitions and debate articles (55%), a feature that displays exactly which climate projects a member personally has supported and with how much (53%), individualized tips to help reduce a member’s footprint (48%) and the possibility to compare climate footprints from year to year (39%).

Growing the GoClimate community

The majority of the respondents found out about us via recommendations and social media. So please keep discussing the climate with friends, tell them about us and share blog posts and our infographics on Instagram.

Here you can find the results of the 2019 and 2020  member survey on carbon footprint, carbon offsetting and GoClimate.

Different kinds of carbon offsets – a quick guide

Since the start of carbon offsetting, a lot has happened. We have learned more about how we can efficiently and effectively finance the transition to a sustainable society, and these insights have allowed for the offsets to develop in several aspects. Here, we will explain the different kinds of offsets that one can choose from.

Avoided emissions

At GoClimate, we offer carbon offsetting in a type of projects that are referred to as Avoided Emissions. The idea is to prevent emissions which would have been released if it had not been for this project.

To explain with an example: in a village, everyone is cooking over open fires and collect firewood in the forest nearby. The project developer supplies improved cookstoves, which contains the heat and reduces the amount of firewood needed. The savings in firewood (reduced deforestation) is measured, and then converted into a common unit – tonnes of CO2, which can be purchased by those who want to support this project.

Perhaps the most common type of projects that can be categorized as avoided emissions are renewable energy projects. The current (polluting) energy production is compared to the installation and production of clean energy, and the difference is considered avoided emissions.

You can read more about climate projects in this previous post, and on our project page.

One kind of improved cookstove

Another type of project that avoids emissions can be natural resource management, or the protection of forests. Areas which are in danger of being deforested are identified and the protection of them is financed, to make sure that they keep storing (and capturing) carbon dioxide. This has additional benefits of biodiversity protection, but it can be hard to prove that the flora would be degraded without the protection.

Removals

Another type of offsets is referred to as removals. There are two main types of removals, where the simplest form is tree planting (reforestation or afforestation*). Tree planting can have additional benefits for the biodiversity and local populations, and is definitely needed to restore damaged ecosystems. However, although the trees bind CO2 while they grow and live, this will be released at the end of their life. This can happen unintentionally in a forest fire or naturally after 80 years, but this does not guarantee a permanent removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Are there permanent removals of CO2 from the atmosphere? Yes, but it’s costly and energy intensive. These technologies are sometimes called Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), or Direct Air Capture (DAC). The most well-known initiative for this is probably the Swiss company Climeworks, whose technology aims to “vacuum clean” the air from CO2. Another pioneer is Project Vesta, which will use natural wave energy to capture CO2 into rocks (weathering). These technologies are under development, and need to scale up to be really useful.

Climeworks aim to suck CO2 from the air

What should you choose?

What should we focus on? We at GoClimate believe that “if your faucet is running, you should turn it off before you start mopping the floor”, which is why we are offering offsets in the form of avoided emissions. We urgently need to stop emitting CO2, and offsetting is effectively a way to help finance the transition to renewable energy globally. But the scary truth is that as we are not doing this fast enough, we will need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere to keep global warming from spinning out of control. And to invest in it now is necessary for the research and development to happen fast enough for the technologies to scale. If these methods are only available in 50 years, it will simply be too late.

Therefore, GoClimate is currently investigating how we can also support removals as a way to stop climate change. Stay tuned to find out more and be part of the movement!

* Afforestation is the establishment of a forest or stand of trees (forestation) in an area where there was no previous tree cover

Climate-proof your business

Why should a company act on climate change?

We are all part of the problem, so we can all be part of the solution! Since the causes of climate change are deeply rooted in our way of living, change needs to happen on all levels in society. From the governments setting the right direction, all the way to end consumers who choose what to purchase. In the middle, companies should align with the global goals, and provide products and services which are truly sustainable and don’t harm the planet.

What should companies actually do?

The first step is to understand how the company is contributing to climate change. The best way to do this is to analyze its operations and find out where greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arise (in production, from energy consumption, or in the value chain?), and quantify the impact on the climate. GoClimate helps companies follow the international reporting standard to accurately measure the GHG emissions.

Once the company knows their climate impact, it is time to set a goal in line with the Paris Agreement to keep the increase of global temperature below 1,5°C. Knowing what emissions are caused in our base year (the first year we measure), we can set the ambition to reduce the emissions. At this point, we also know which part of the business is causing the most emissions, and GoClimate offers guidance on how to reduce these emissions in the most efficient way possible. Then, we can follow up on a yearly basis if the company is successful in reaching these goals.

A way to take responsibility for the emissions that cannot be abated immediately, is to offset the emissions. This is done by purchasing a corresponding amount of carbon credits from projects that avoid emissions elsewhere, or in some cases capture carbon from the atmosphere. GoClimate offers offsetting from high-quality projects certified by Gold Standard

Sidrap Wind Energy Park in Indonesia
With carbon offsetting, we make sure that this wind farm is being paid for, to the benefit of the local population in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

What are the benefits of doing this?

First and foremost, we do our part in ensuring a livable planet for ourselves and our children. As if this wasn’t enough, we simultaneously risk-proof our own business by understanding if we are currently a part of the problem, and how we can be part of the solution.

Some other positive effects are:

·      Attracting more talent – employees care about the company they work for! This is true for new hires as well as for retention of the existing team.

·      More customers – this gives an advantage over competitors, as sustainability becomes a key parameter when choosing suppliers and service providers

·      Sustainability efforts also offer a marketing advantage

GoClimate is your partner

Reach out to us, and we can help you understand what this would look like for your  company and offer support based on your needs. GoClimate will be there to answer any and all questions, and make this journey as smooth as possible for you. Get in touch by sending us an email at [email protected]

READ MORE: 

The 1.5°C Business Playbook helps organizations to set a 1.5°C aligned strategy and move to action. It focuses on simplicity and speed and is anchored in the latest science

Science-based targets show companies how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

More support to wind energy in Aruba

We have now offset another 50,000 ton CO2eq in a Gold Standard certified project! Thank you for taking part in this!

Cactus overlooking the energy production

This is our project

Aruba is one of the islands moving towards reduced dependency on fossil fuels and increased share of renewables. The first initiative for wind energy production on the island is the Wind Park Vader Piet N.V, which we are supporting through the purchase of carbon credits! This is the second time we support this project, so find the first blog post about the project HERE.

This wind park consists of 10 wind turbines that are located on an uninhabited part of the island. With a production capacity of 3 MW each, these turbines supply 12-14% of the total energy needed on the island! Since all energy consumed before the implementation of this project came from fossil fuel, the carbon intensity of the electricity available on the island was very high. Fortunately, Wind Park Vader Piet N.V has instigated a change for the better.

More support from GoClimate

We purchased credits (the proof of avoided emissions, expressed in tonnes of CO2) from this project last year in September, and now decided to do a second purchase. The climate projects issue new credits every year, corresponding to the amount of avoided emissions they can prove each year. Hence, with the kind of credits that we purchase from Gold Standard certified projects, we know that the emissions have already been avoided.

The continuous support that the project receives from selling credits every year makes sure that they can, for example, pay back loans that they had to take to build the wind power plants, and ensures the financial sustainability of the project. When the project is planned, this financial support from selling credits is taken into account in the economic balance. The project developer has to show that without this economic support, the project would not be financially feasible. This is what is referred to as ‘Additionality’ when we talk about climate projects.

Imported wings for the wind power plants came by boat to Aruba

What are the larger implications?

Vader Piet has permission to sell credits for 10 years. This has been an interesting time for the island Aruba. We have been talking to the electricity company on the island, WEB Aruba N.V., on what this has meant for them, and this has been proof that there is more that can be done in the area of renewables. It is especially impactful when we can support a project that is the first of its kind in a place, such as this one.

We have previously also supported the Sidrap Wind Energy Project, the first wind power park in Indonesia. This is important both for the public, to see for themselves what a wind energy park can do. Moreover, provides a great learning opportunity for local professionals to learn new skills, which can be replicable in future projects. Aruba is now in the planning stage of a second wind power plant, and we are so exited to be a part of that story!

Read more about the project in the Gold Standard Registry

A big thanks to all of you for enabling this development!

Do you want to contribute to this, and other similar projects? Calculate your carbon footprint and start your offsetting today!

A survey on the view of the individual carbon footprint, carbon offsetting and GoClimate

During the summer 2020, we conducted a Swedish and an English survey with ten questions among all the people who offset their carbon footprint with GoClimate. A whopping 620 people participated, corresponding to 13% of our members at that point in time.

According to our English survey, 76% have reduced their carbon footprint since they joined GoClimate. Among other things, they have installed solar panels, they eat less meat, fly less and eat more vegan food than before. 23% say that they have not made any changes to impact their carbon footprint and 0.6% (1 person) say that they have increased their footprint.

In response to the question of how they view their personal carbon footprint, around 90% of the English respondants (80% of the Swedish) state that they are working actively to reduce their footprint. 3% say that they would like to, but don’t know how. Another 4% say that they are not working actively with reducing their footprint. Political actions and financial incentives are mentioned as critical parts to enable necessary lifestyle changes.

What's your attitude to your individual carbon footprint? This diagrams shows the number of people who use carbon offsetting that are actively working on reducing their carbon footprint and how many that are not.
90% of all members that carbon offset say they are working on reducing their carbon footprint.

Most members are happy with our calculator and the type of projects we support. What we can get better at is providing guidance and support to reduce the carbon footprint. Over 20% didn’t know that we have a blog, where we educate on topics related to the carbon footprint and offer tips for how to reduce the emissions.

The reasons for our members to carbon offset with GoClimate is that it’s easy, that people want to do everything they can for the environment, and because there are parts of the carbon footprint which are hard to amend. Other reasons are that GoClimate is a small organization offering transparency about where the money goes, and that it’s perceived as clear, agile and trustworthy. This is an easy way to make an extra difference for the climate, adding to what is already done in the everyday life by these committed people.

Among the respondents behavioral change was considered important to stop climate change. The answer to the question “How important do you think behavioral change is to stop climate change?” was 8.8 in average on a scale 0-10.

The majority of the respondents found out about us via recommendations and social media. So please keep discussing the climate with friends, tell them about us and share blog posts and our infographics on Instagram.

Find the results of the 2019 member survey on carbon footprint, carbon offsetting and GoClimate here.

GoClimate New Year’s Resolutions for 2021!

One year ago, the GoClimate team set our climate resolutions for 2020 – personal challenges, because for us saving the climate is more than a job, it’s a life mission. This is an overwhelming task, and therefore setting a specific goal to a specific time frame makes it all more approachable. Now we have another new year ahead of us to make better habits for the future!

CECILIA :star2:

One of my resolutions for 2020 was to participate in twice as many climate strikes compared to 2019. And then Covid19 happened. For 2021, my resolution will be “Spread the word” – to talk more about the climate crisis and the climate action I am taking via social media and with my friends in order to hopefully inspire others to take action.

ALEXANDRA:star2:

My new year’s resolution for this year was to stay on the ground and not travel by plane. It was easier than I had expected and it reduced my carbon footprint with 3.19 tonnes compared to 2019. For 2021, my climate commitment is to move one step closer to a vegan diet. I have been a vegetarian for 10+ years, and for next year my intention is to only eat egg/dairy products when they are served by someone else. That means, at home and at restaurants/cafes I will always choose vegan, but if I’m invited to a dinner I will accept vegetarian food. Curious to see what challenges this will bring me and how I can handle that!

Home made salad w quinoa, hummus, veggies and fruits!

TOVE :star2:

I wish all climate actions came as easy to me as sticking to a vegan diet and not driving a fossil-fuelled car, but staying on the ground is a huge challenge to me. It breaks my heart on a regular basis that catching a flight to London, which I consider my second home, is no longer an option for me as I simply can’t justify the harm it causes the planet. My resolution for 2021 is to look closer into climate friendly alternatives to flying, rather than giving long-distance traveling up altogether (which has been the situation in 2020, needless to say). I’m excited to look in to options by road and rail and aim to make the actual travelling a fun part of the experience too, making it an adventure rather than just a transfer.

STEFAN :star:

My new years resolution for 2021 is to think long-term with all of my purchases. I will only purchase brand-new products if I’m confident I will get at least 5 years of good use out of them.

KALLE :star:

For 2020, my new year’s resolution was to not buy any new clothes nor electronic devices. I aim to keep that going for the full year of 2021 as well.

EMMA :star:

I’ll continue sticking to my vegetarian diet, plus avoiding dairy. I will also make sure to cut out beef and lamb when feeding my dog (who’s moving in with Emma in January, welcome to the GoClimate family little one). Whenever I feel the need to buy new items, I make a list of what it is that I “need”. I then give it a week or two before asking myself if I still want or need it? If the answer is still a yes, I research if there are any other ways to achieve what it is that I crave other than making a purchase – perhaps renting or borrowing? Or can it at least be bought second hand? If buying a newly produced item is the only option, I compare alternatives and chose the one with the seemingly lowest climate impact.

Supporting a Wind Power Project in the Caribbean

We have now offset another 50,000 ton CO2eq in a Gold Standard certified project! Thank you for taking part in this!

The Caribbean is a region heavily dependent on fossil fuels, while at the same time it’s a particularly promising place for renewable energies with abundant sun and wind conditions. Demand is comparatively low because the islands have small populations, which means that small scale energy solutions have the capacity to cover a large share of the energy needs.

Vader Piet N.V. Wind Park

This is our project

Aruba is one of the islands moving towards reduced dependency on fossil fuels and increased share of renewables. The first initiative for wind energy production on the island is the Wind Park Vader Piet N.V, which we are supporting through the purchase of carbon credits!

This wind park consists of 10 wind turbines that are located on an uninhabited part of the island. With a production capacity of 3 MW each, these turbines supply 12-14% of the total energy needed on the island! Since all energy consumed before the implementation of this project came from fossil fuel, the carbon intensity of the electricity available on the island was very high. Fortunately, Wind Park Vader Piet N.V has instigated a change for the better.

Plans for the future

The national energy producer, WEB Aruba, made a commitment which increased the share of renewables to 18% in 2018, and reduced the fossil fuel consumption by 40%. Moving forward, the goal is to reduce the fossil fuel consumption by a total of 67% and to increase renewables to a total of 40% by 2022. After the first wind park was built, a first solar park has also been installed and another wind park is in the development phase.

Why not 100% renewable today?

A challenge that Aruba and other small island nations is facing when transitioning to renewables is the grid stability. Wind and solar are intermittent energies, which means that energy is produced during certain times of the day when it’s sunny or windy. However, this doesn’t always correspond with the time that the energy is needed. In some cases, energy use in industries can be rescheduled to match peak energy availability hours, but for household electricity this is much harder.

To manage this, one option is to invest in energy storage such as batteries, and another one is to use a base load energy that can be adjusted to produce energy when demand is high and renewable production is low. In some cases, this can be done with geothermal energy (like our project Dora II in Turkey), more common is hydro power, nuclear energy or fossil fuels. WEB Aruba is working with a commitment to resolve this, taking into consideration that the development has to happen over time in order to maintain grid stability as infrastructure needs to keep up. It is also crucial to keep energy prices affordable to the local population. In Europe and other places, this challenge is cushioned by our interconnected grids, where energy surplus can be sent to a neighboring country, and energy can be purchased from where the production is the greenest in the moment.

Read more about the project in the Gold Standard Registry

Vader Piet N.V. Wind Park is located far away from the residents of the island

A big thanks to all of you for enabling this development!

Do you want to contribute to this, and other similar projects? Calculate your carbon footprint and start your offsetting today!

Switching to an electric car without breaking the bank

Note: This is a personal story from team member Stefan

I just recently moved out of the city and to a town in the mountains of Sweden. Having always before been able to use public transportation, I found myself in a place where I now need a car to get around, while also being fully out of reach of any car sharing services. This is my story of researching reasonably priced alternatives for getting a car with the least possible climate footprint.

If you are able to use car sharing services or public transportation, you should always consider not owning a car at all. If not, read on to learn a few surprising facts that make getting a brand new electric car more reasonable than you’d think.

Note – make sure to top up your car with green electricity!

Requirements and options

I knew from the outset that the long-term goal was to get an electric car. I just didn’t know if our fincancial situation would support this right away. My partner and I make good money, but not by any means enough that we can afford to freely just lease or buy any car. We do, however, have the ability to increase our loans at a reasonable interest rate to be able to pay for a new car, provided that the purchase doesn’t turn into the money sink that new car purchases traditionally are.


We are looking for a car that works for typical usage. We’ll be driving both short distances and long. It’s going to be our only car. So what we end up with has to:

  • Have range enough to be workable on long journeys.
  • Be big enough that we can bring outdoors gear like skis and big backpacks on trips.

Getting into specifics, I looked into three categories of cars to consider:

  • Fully electric cars, new from dealerships.
  • Plug-in hybrid cars, second hand.
  • For comparison and as a last resort, lower priced regular gasoline cars, second hand.

The reason that second hand fully electric cars are not on this is that they’re very close in price to brand new cars (more on that later), and by going for a new car we would have the ability to get a tow bar that we can mount a bike rack on. If you don’t need a tow bar, there is a (small) market of second hand fully electric cars with long range (350 km/220 miles or longer). If you’re able to get one of those, you can make the financials for electric cars later in this post even better.

Go for a long drive without emissions

Plug-in hybrid cars

My initial thought was that plug-in hybrid cars would be the most reasonable option while waiting for fully electric cars to come down in price. But after looking into it, two factors make them less attractive than one would think.

First, if you regularly drive longer than the battery lasts (usually around 30-40 km/20-25 miles), you end up with a very thirsty car. Most plug-in hybrids are very heavy cars and have fuel consumption upwards of 10 l/100 km (as low as 25 mpg) after the battery depletes. For all but the very shortest trips, this defeats the fuel savings of having a battery.

Second, these cars are basically two cars in one that both need maintenance. In terms of maintenance cost, they are are, if anything, more expensive to keep running than even traditional combustion cars.

If you’re able to charge at home, drive almost exclusively within the short battery range and are strictly limited in purchase price, then maybe a plug-in hybrid car be a good option. Otherwise, I have a hard time justifying them as a way to reduce one’s carbon footprint. For us, getting an efficient combustion or non-plug-in hybrid car, would actually have been a better choice.

Brand new electric cars

Fully electric cars used to be crazy expensive, but this is fast changing. For sale right now with 350 km/220 miles of range or more in the most affordable price range are three models: the Kia e-Soul, Kia e-Niro, and Hyundai Kona Electric. Available for order this year and with delivery dates within a year you’ll also find the Volkswagen ID.3 and Skoda Enyaq iV.

All of these sell for around €45,000 (in Europe), but a few insights helped me realize this relatively high price isn’t as bad as it seems:

  • Many countries have government grants when buying new electric cars. In Sweden, the grant is about €5,800.
  • Maintenance, vehicle/road taxes, and, most strikingly, driving costs are way lower for electric cars.
  • Value depreciation is, as mentioned earlier, not at all as bad as with non-electric cars, especially when taking government grants into account. For the models I looked at, one year old cars with above average milage were selling for just around €5,000 – €7,000 lower than the brand new price after grants. This reasonably gets much better (on a monthly basis) if you keep the car for 2 or 3 years, but there are no numbers for that as all these models initially went for sale just last year.

The numbers

So let’s look at the numbers. All figures are yearly costs in Sweden converted to Euros. I’ve used the best sources I could find, trying to find actual maintenance costs from current owners and quoting insurance for these models for myself.

New Hyundai Kona ElectricSecond hand Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2017)Second hand Opel Astra (2015)
Maintenance€210€500€500
Vehicle/road tax€35€35€135
Insurance€350€650€350
Electricity1 3€380€3502
Fuel1€4052€1,360
Total€975€1,940€2,345
  1. Using the average yearly milage in Sweden of 15,000 km per year.
  2. These calculations assume 50% usage on battery for the plug-in hybrid.
  3. Electricity costs of 0.2 Euros/kWh.

At this point, before financing, we’re looking at a monthly cost of €81 for the fully electric car, as compared to €161 for the plug-in hybrid and €195 for the combustion car.

So you’ll have €114/month extra to put towards financing of the more expensive electric car. Even though this is better than one might think already, chances are that the €114 won’t be enough regardless of how you choose to finance the car. Which brings me to…

How to make the car free

More and more people want to drive electric and more and more people are looking to car sharing services to replace car ownership. So for those of us who have to own a car, let’s contribute to the other side of that equation and make our cars available for others to rent. Renters will look to the cheap-to-drive and climate friendly electric cars, and owners of those cars can use that income to bridge the cost gap compared to traditional cars.

Sharing is caring – also for the climate

Looking at the two big options available in Sweden, Snappcar and GoMore (also available in a number of other European countries), you can expect around €300-400/month for renting your car a few times each month. Together with the €100+/month you’re saving in driving costs, you’re now looking at upwards of €500/month in combined savings and income that can be put towards financing of the car. This sealed the deal for us, because depending on how much we rent the car out, we actually have a decent chance of having the car pay for itself entirely.

On top of that, we’re now helping others reduce their carbon footprints in addition to reducing our own.

Best (climate) reads for lazy summer days!

Working hard to stop climate change and making the world a better place is great everyday life. But even heroes need holidays, to recharge the batteries and enjoy the small things around us. Stopping to smell a flower, having a cup of coffee in no rush at all, maybe even turning off the phone. Taking a break from the digital world can be so refreshing! And when you do that, what better way to spend time than with a book? We at GoClimate have a diverse taste in books, but we decided to present some related to climate change.

GoClimate enjoying books!

(Two years ago we did another blog post about this, find it HERE)

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Gosh. The Indian novelist wrote his first non-fictional book in 20 years on the topic of climate change, highlighting the cultural shift that is needed to address this issue. Climate chance is not too unrealistic to be portrayed in popculture anymore.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural Story by Elizabeth Kolbert (US). This book has been very praised for how it narrates the story of the process we are currently living in, and how humans are the protagonists in this.

The Sixth Extinction

What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming: Toward a New Psychology of Climate Action by Per Espen Stoknes. This is perhaps the most facts-y book on the list, where the Norwegian Psychologist identifies psychological barriers to climate action, and addresses them with concrete strategies. Now that we know what we know, how do we handle that? He also gave a TED talk on the topic!

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate and On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein (Canada). This Changes everything was published in 2016, presenting a strong argument for the links between climate change and the current free market economy. This book has had a monumental impact on the climate movement, and its sequel is explaining how bold climate action can be a blueprint for a just and thriving society.

We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast  by Jonathan Safron Foer. This American author has previously produced both fiction and the arguably best book on veganism: Eating Animals. The book is a peculiar and personal take on climate change and our diets, and worth it because the writing and randomly connected thoughts are so poignant.

We are the Weather

Oryx and Crake and The year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (Canada). Known for an extensive body of literature (for example, The Handmaid’s Tale), Atwood is building the Maddaddam Trilogy on a backdrop of climate change. Perhaps more relaxing than the fact-filled books!

Tentacle by Rita Indiana (Dominican Rep). Not all climate books are non-fiction! This is a novel built on Caribbean storytelling, covering climate change, Yoruba rituals, time travel, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism and contemporary art. Try something new!

Tentacle

What are you reading this summer? Drop us a comment below!

What is a climate project?

So you already know that when you sign up at GoClimate, you support climate projects through carbon offsetting. But how do these projects actually work?

The main purpose of a climate project is to avoid the emission of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. There are different ways to do this, and the carbon market is constantly evolving with new projects and better methods for measuring emissions reductions.

One way that is easy to measure and easy to understand is therefore projects that produce renewable energy. By creating the kind of energy that does not cause emissions, we give people the opportunity to stop using fossil fuels. For example, when we build wind power in India and connect more people to the electricity grid, they no longer need to use diesel generators or burn charcoal, which is often the case before the project is implemented.

Sidrap Wind Energy Park in Indonesia
Sidrap Wind Energy Project in Indonesia

Some examples of projects that GoClimate have supported which produce renewable energy:

The reason we want to contribute to this in countries like India and Indonesia is that wind power is still too expensive to be built without the income from carbon credits – this is what is meant by additionality. Wind power can produce the same energy in Sweden, but the marginal utility will be higher elsewhere as we avoid combustion of coal and diesel and contribute to raising the standard of living on site.

Another type of climate project is the capture of greenhouse gas emissions that occur in different processes, and converting them into energy instead – so-called biogas projects. The projects often involve installing improved technology so that greenhouse gases from biodegradation of organic matter, for example in landfills or in waste water, are not released into the atmosphere but are contained and converted into energy. Here we immediately avoid the emissions, and do something useful with the energy instead! This is often a bit more expensive than, for example, building wind power, which rank among the cheapest projects.

Landfill Gas to Energy project in Chile
Landfill Gas to Energy Project in Chile

Some examples of biogas projects which GoClimate have supported:

Another type of project aims to improve methods of cooking. A large proportion of the world’s population cook their food over open fire, which leads to deforestation when more and more people need firewood. By offering better equipment, the people responsible for cooking, usually women, do not need to collect as much wood. This saves both trees and time for them, and with the improved equipment it also reduces air pollution and air born particles, which has a positive impact on their health. These projects thus have great potential benefits, but are more difficult to implement because it implies changing behaviors, and then it is more difficult to measure the results. The risk is thus higher, but the benefits can be very significant.

Improved cookstoves being used in Rwanda

GoClimate has financed a few projects of this kind:

Another type of climate project has to do with trees. This can be reforestation of areas that have been deforested, the planting of trees on areas that have not had a forest before, or protection of existing forests. Projects of this kind are incredibly important because the trees bind carbon dioxide from the air, and there are many potential benefits such as increased biodiversity, improved microclimate, etc. Nevertheless, we at GoClimate have chosen not to invest in this kind of climate project. The main reason is that the carbon that is bound in the tree is admittedly absorbed, but it is not a permanent storage of carbon dioxide as it, intentionally or unintentionally, can be released into the atmosphere again. The lack of permanence and the risks associated with it means that we do not want to offset in this kind of projects.

This is a brief summary of some different types of climate projects, but there are more on the market, and more are being developed at the time of writing. Of course, since the projects are so different, the prices of the projects vary, and there is thus no fixed price for a ton of carbon dioxide. In addition, all projects have administrative costs – if no one designs, administers and supervises the project, there will be no projects and we also could not guarantee the quality of them. But that’s why we exist – to do part of the job for you who want to save the climate by offsetting emissions. Part of the cost also goes to the certification, to ensure the quality of the project. In this way we avoid projects that don’t make positive impacts, and protect ourselves from corruption and inefficiency.

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