The harsh reality is that we have left things too late. Carbon dioxide (CO2) lingers in the atmosphere for 500-1000 years and even if we are able to remove CO2 from all areas of our lives e.g. transport, food production and energy we will still have too high a concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. This legacy CO2 will continue to raise the earth’s temperature unless we find new and innovative ways of reducing current emissions, avoiding potential future emissions and removing historic emissions already in the atmosphere.
The global obsession with CO2 has given rise to another phenomenon that could threaten how we invest in the environment, ‘Carbon tunnel syndrome’, a complete ambivalence to any environmental impact other than CO2. By focussing so heavily on carbon, we run the risk of upsetting the balance of nature and turning a blind eye to biodiversity loss, eutrophication, air pollutants and a whole host of other environmental impacts currently neglected.
These individual systems are part of a whole ecosystem that needs to be protected, there is no single ‘green’ bullet to solve the climate crisis.
Our previous studies have highlighted how cautious the market is to fully engage in UK based, environmental intervention and offset schemes. All sides are waiting for each to make the first move. Farmers and land owners are worried about the risk of tying up land too early and losing out on future values, the government is worried about over regulating too soon, and corporates are worried that any investments they do make my not meet government policy when it eventually does come in. We are in a stale mate while the environment deteriorates.
With this in mind, we have built this DEFRA research project (Test & Trial) around farmers, land managers and corporates. Our aim is to better understand what it will take for corporates to invest more in UK based environmental schemes and deepen our understanding of the challenges farmers / land managers face when delivering nature based solutions.
We believe climate action by corporates is at the heart of the global warming solution, but the corporate world cannot act alone. They need support from government, consumers, land owners and farmers.
This study will help DEFRA policy teams understand what more the government can do to better support corporate buyers of environmental services. Our focus for this work is CO2 and we are interested to explore how CO2 solutions fit in with wider environmental interventions.
Our study is designed to better understand the legal framework necessary to execute successful trades between those buying reliable, cost effective carbon offsets and those selling them.
If you can help, please get in touch here.