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Archive for the ‘Carbon Balancing’ Category

If you have ever wondered how much greenhouse gas (GHG) the world produces annually, you may now have a close estimation. The World Resources Institute, in partnership with the ASN Bank, Ecofys and DuurzaamBedrijfsleven.nl, published this week an updated flow chart detailing the global GHG emissions for the year 2010, when approximately 48,629 million tons of CO2-eq were released to the atmosphere.

The infographic shows that the human activities alone are responsible for 76% of the CO2 emissions, the main driver of global warming. It still points out the sectors that contribute the most to the world’s GHG emissions and identifies what kind of natural resources they use. Overall, the Industry sector accounts for 29% of these emissions, followed by the Transport and the Land Use Change sectors with 15% each.

Click on the image below to see the full infographic.

GHG emissions Flow Chart

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How can we fight against climate change?

We just have to think “new”. This is the main idea behind this one minute animation video, created by the WWF-Brazil, on alternative solutions to conserve the environment, reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet.

How are you helping protect the planet? Share it with us in the comment section below.

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2014 Official World Cup Emblem. Photo: FIFA

2014 Official World Cup Emblem. Photo: FIFA

With the purpose of minimising the environmental impacts that will be caused by this year’s FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Brazilian Government announced yesterday (21.02), in Brasilia, Brazil’s capital, the upcoming implementation of an inventory on carbon management for those two important sports events, which will be hosted by Brazil.

Besides the accounting of the pollutant gases produced by the tournaments, the project provides for the establishment of alternative compensation measures and adaptation schemes for the impacts caused by activities related to general infrastructure upgrades, such as the construction and renovation of stadiums, enhancements to transportation systems and the electricity sector.

“With this project, we want to discuss climate change in a larger scope”, states Karen Cope from the Brazilian Ministry for the Environment (MMA). According to the MMA, it is necessary to integrate efforts from Federal and State governments for the completion of the inventory and the successful implementation of those proposed actions.

On the word of the Brazilian Government, the initiative of “Green” events brings an opportunity to consolidate a low-carbon economy in Brazil and across the world. They believe that the execution of the activities related to those events can be implemented in an economically efficient way, while attemping to reduce their carbon footprint.

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CEMS Students at the CGV Head Office, after their Biomass Presentation, December 2012

CEMS Students at the CGV Head Office, after their Biomass Consultancy Project Presentation, December 2012

Since October 2012, Celestial Green Ventures have been working with an incredible group of students who are currently studying on the CEMS Masters in Management Programme at the Smurfit Graduate School of Business in University College Dublin (UCD).

The Biomass Consultancy Project, which they presented to us in December, was merely the beginning of a mutually beneficial, on-going relationship between ourselves and the CEMS Programme, and especially the CEMS Dublin group, based in UCD.

We are particularly impressed to see young future business leaders learning about the importance of sustainable business practices by carbon balancing their flights to Dublin, for the first half of their International Master’s Degree Programme, which sees them travel to another CEMS partner university, this semester. (Currently there are 27 Partner Universities spread across a number of countries worldwide).

You can read more about this new sustainable partnership on the university website, and you will hear more about this relationship right here on our Blog, throughout 2013 and beyond, with several exciting initiatives being developed.

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The Carbon (C) element is considered to be one of the most important chemical components on Earth, since it is found in all living organisms and it is a key element of biological cycles and systems. The Carbon Cycle can be described in simple words as the movement of Carbon in different parts of the planet, such as the ocean, atmosphere, ecosystems and geosphere. These systems make constant carbon exchanges, which are part of the natural occurring flow of carbon around the Earth.

As part of this cycle, Carbon may be absorbed or undergo chemical reaction, producing carbon-based compounds. When exhaled by animals and plants, for instance, Carbon is deoxidised into Carbon Dioxide (CO2), but the latter is absorbed by plants during the photosynthesis process. Another example is the cold water of the oceans that tends to absorb CO2 more easily than the warm water. Processes that predominantly produce CO2 are called “sources”, whereas those natural reservoirs of CO2 that absorbs it are called “sinks”.

In the atmosphere, the Carbon element is present  predominantly as CO2, but also as other less abundant, but still climatically significant gases, such as Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O). According to the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) website, while CO2 accounts for only a very small percentage of the atmospheric gases (0.04%), it is important for the balance of the planet.

CO2 acts like a blanket in the atmosphere preventing the passage of heat, which, in other circumstances, would be released from the planet. In fact, this is a natural process and it is essential to keep a good CO2 balance of the planet. However, the increasingly amount of CO2 produced by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and the changes in land-use, helps CO2 remain in the atmosphere for a long time and contribute to increasing the warming effect.

According to data from the ESRL, CO2 is the largest contributor to the global warming, accounting for 63% of the greenhouse gas effect.

Forests play an important role in the constantly evolving Carbon Cycle, and the REDD+ initiatives, which protect regions against deforestation, are positively contributing to the mitigation of global climate change, and providing us with much needed CO2 sinks.

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This is our first educational Blog post, which includes a great short video introduction to REDD+, which was produced by the Global Canopy Programme, via their REDD Desk Platform. If you have ever wondered what the industry is all about, this is an excellent and easy place to start.

We will always be an advocate for private sector involvement in the fight against climate change, and especially in the development and on-going effort to ensure that REDD+ projects around the world are both successful and indeed sustainable in the long-term.

Having said that we also acknowledge that it will take the concerted efforts, knowledge and experience of all stakeholders, to not only align our collective objectives but to achieve the ambitious targets which we are setting for ourselves.

To learn about REDD+, CGV, our projects and the industry itself, you can follow our Blog for up to date content!

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The Trocano Araretama REDD+ Conservation project, developed by Celestial Green Ventures in partnership with Instituto Amazônia Livre (IAL), is being used as the basis of a scientific article by members of the IAL team.

Renan Albuquerque Rodrigues, a lecturer and PhD researcher at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (UFAM), the oldest and one of the most traditional universities in Brazil, and Dr. Antônio José do Nascimento Fernandes who both work at IAL have decided to use this first CGV REDD+ Natural Capital project as a test case and as the basis of a scientific academic article in Brazil.

This new link between the organisations, can be beneficial for all sides, while researchers at the university are currently analysing the potential of this particular academic paper, the IAL team are confident that it will be the start of a great relationship now and into the future.

The Trocano Araretama project uses a REDD+ methodology and is based on the principles of good governance (including social participation), transparency and inclusion. Abating deforestation and forest degradation; protecting vulnerable biodiversity; enhancing the livelihoods of the local communities and protecting the Natural Capital of the regions are key to the success these projects.

These REDD+ Natural Capital projects are designed to bring benefits to the local communities, who are also the decision-making partners deciding where and how the funds are spent, to improve their regions, in the way that they want.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA* This post was written with the collaboration of Renan Albuquerque Rodrigues, who is a lecturer and current Ph.D. student of Amazonian Culture and Society, journalist and currently advises IAL, in the area of humanities and culture. He was one of the members of the IAL team who visited Celestial Green Ventures Head Office in Dublin last October.

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