Extreme E, the revolutionary electric off-road racing series, has agreed a partnership with ALLCOT to offset the championship’s carbon footprint in support of its goal to have a net-zero carbon footprint by the end of its first season.
ALLCOT, a world-leader in carbon offsetting and sustainability initiatives, develops innovative impact projects which enable businesses to support local communities to protect the environment by reducing their carbon emissions. These initiatives directly support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which call on governments, businesses and communities to put an end to poverty and protect the planet
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO at Extreme E commented: “Our sustainability strategy is a crucial aspect of Extreme E so we’re delighted to be working with ALLCOT, a world-leader in climate change and sustainable solutions, to develop this strategy and enable us to support some truly transformational projects.
“Extreme E’s goal is to have a zero-net carbon footprint by the end of its first season, which means removing as many emissions as we produce. We plan to achieve this by following the United Nation’s framework which recommends reducing, measuring, and offsetting carbon emissions. The projects we will support will empower local communities to reduce emissions to help protect the planet, not just now but for the long-term.”
ALLCOT global community projects include the Brazilian Rosewood Protected Forest Project that safeguards 177,899 hectares of high conservation value rainforest, and a project in Mozambique that will replace 10,000 traditional cookstoves with new energy-efficient versions, reducing charcoal consumption by 50 per cent and in turn reducing gas emissions and usage of fossil fuels.
Alexis L. Leroy, Founder and CEO of ALLCOT, commented: “We are very excited to partner with Extreme E not simply with offset but with vanguard vision in term of sustainable strategy solutions, shifting from GHG compensations to Global Impacts, which is at the core of Extreme E’s values. Beyond, we see great potential in synergy with Extreme E and its technology partners to bring sustainable innovative solutions to remote communities.”
Extreme E is consulting with carbon measurement experts Quantis to calculate its corporate footprint and will continue to track and update this figure as its season unfolds.
As well as offsetting, Extreme E focuses on reduction of its footprint through a series of efforts which include;
- Using 100% electric vehicles.
- Zero emission vehicle charging using Hydrogen Fuel Cells generated by water and solar.
- The series centrepiece, the RMS St. Helena ship, which has undergone extensive refurbishment to lower its emissions in order to transport the championship’s freight and logistics around the world. This is estimated to reduce carbon by two thirds in comparison with air freight.
- Not having spectators at events. (Depending on the type and location of events, fans can represent 20 to 50% of the total footprint of an event once you consider their transport, food and beverage and merchandising).
- Capping the number of members each team has on-site to just seven each – two drivers, one engineer and four mechanics.
- Remote broadcast operations which involves using satellites to enable live editing and overlays to take place in a London studio.
- The use of alternative fuel HVO (hydrogenated vegetable oil) generators instead of diesel counterparts for all on-site power needs.
- Virtual, at-home hospitality experiences.
In addition to reducing, measuring and offsetting its carbon footprint, Extreme E has appointed an independent Scientific Committee, consisting of leading academics from The University of Oxford and The University of Cambridge, tasked with driving the series’ climate education and practice.
Extreme E will go racing in early 2021, visiting five environments around the world, including Arctic, desert, ocean, glacier and Amazon locations, which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues.
Inspiring its global audience to take action now, and leaving a lasting positive impact is a key element of the series, and working with organisations like ALLCOT ensures Extreme E is supporting and investing in the right projects with the biggest impact on the environment and its local communities.
Extreme E will use the mass appeal and following of sport to highlight the effects of climate change around the world, which include deforestation, melting icecaps, desertification, rising sea levels, plastic pollution and more, and will educate its fans with important messages around the reduction of our own carbon impact, including the promotion of electric vehicles and other clean energy mobility solutions for a lower carbon future.
To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
ALLCOT is a veteran project developer offering knowledge, expertise, and management to initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to actively combat the climate crisis under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ALLCOT is a leading actor in the climate and sustainability impact markets and is recognized as one of the established companies in the sector that has been building a strong reputation in environmental project development and the development of corporate sustainability services in their home and emerging markets. Developing their own emission reduction projects, ALLCOT supports companies and public bodies to improve their sustainability performance by offering consulting services under various carbon quantification standards (CDM, VCS, GS) and for various sectors (forestry, waste, renewable energy, transport, sports) covering the entire carbon credit value chain for its later management in the markets created under the Paris Agreement.
About Extreme E:
Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles to help preserve the environment and protect the planet.
Another unique feature of Extreme E is its floating garage, the RMS St. Helena. The former Royal Mail cargo-passenger vessel is undergoing a modernisation and refit in order to lower its emissions. It will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through an on-board laboratory.
Extreme E is operated in association with Formula E – the organiser of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Extreme E is committed to sustainability and minimising environmental impact – as well as playing its part in re-building and restoring areas already impacted by climate change.
The two companies join forces to support organizations in achieving sustainable and non-polluting business models. The alliance aims to respond to current needs of the Mexican market and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
From the time of the launch of Agenda 21 and, more recently, the Agenda 2030, Mexico has actively voiced her commitment to sustainable development and to strengthening the channels for monitoring, communicating and regulating actions that have allowed us to reduce the gap between the high indices of inequality and the high indices of pollution of the 1980s up to the second decade of the 21st century. Undoubtedly, the COVID 19 pandemic of 2020 marks a turning point—not only in Mexico—that calls for being even more rigorous and exhaustive in complying with sustainability goals. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) take on greater relevance and emphasize the right path for humanity and the planet.
Mexico became a signatory to the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement and included their objectives in national planning through passing reforms to the legal framework and prioritizing those goals in the development strategies. Green House Gas Emissions (GHG) are to be reduced by 22% in 2030 and by 50% by 2050, and the national contribution to the Paris Agreement is being updated to reflect a vision of net zero emissions by mid-century.
To meet its climate mitigation objectives, Mexico established a carbon tax in 2014 and, with its launch of a carbon trading system in 2023, will become the first Latin American country to set a ceiling on emissions through efficiency schemes that promote competitiveness in sustainability. In addition, in 2020 Mexico presented its National Strategy for Implementation of the Agenda 2030 including concrete action plans for achieving each of the 17 SDGs and putting people in the center of the development program under the slogan, “No One Left Behind”.
In response to these priorities, ALLCOT and Green Tank, after many years of promoting sustainability with different approaches, draw closer to combine efforts and advance toward a shared purpose. Today, our goal of promoting compliance with the SDGs and protecting the planet’s resources is intensified, but above all, we strive together to generate prosperity, shared value and promote better living conditions in communities.
ALLCOT, with more than 10 years of experience, develops sustainable projects around the world, supporting its clients and collaborators with know-how and management of initiatives that fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals and actively combat the climate crisis by reducing emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Since 2017, ALLCOT began operations in Mexico aimed at breaking paradigms in the private and public sectors by promoting vigorous efforts to reduce greenhouse gases through adopting sustainable projects designed to produce social impacts. Also, we have served as a spokesperson for the SDGs with leaders in banking, industry, waste management, construction, tourism and academia. ALLCOT is committed to and forms alliances with companies that, like us, value the environment.
The Green Tank team applies its extensive international experience and multi-disciplinary backgrounds to support businesses as change agents that protect the environment to foster successful and regenerative economies. Green Tank offers strategy, management and communication of projects and products that favor the planet and apply the Triple Impact approach. Our consultancy works to create shared value through collaborative models that stimulate cooperation among businesses and exchange of products or services between Large Businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises for achieving energy efficiency and the circular economy. Green Tank consulting services enable businesses to develop business strategies and measure and comply with the SDGs of the Agenda 2030, and the firm is committed to the movement of B Corps.
ALLCOT and Green Tank merge their pathways and combine tools to pursue a single vision of forming sustainable alliances to promote a sustainable and low-carbon economy and, why not?, to advance towards a carbon-neutral economy motivated by promoting the well-being of the people, communities and organizations where we leave our marks.
Written by Felipe Jiménez, Climate Change Mitigation Consultant
Humankind is destroying natural environments at accelerating rates. Deforestation, extensive agriculture, climate change, habitat invasion, biodiversity loss, and wildlife traffic, not only destroy vital ecosystem goods and services for humans but also open the way to zoonotic diseases and contamination of urban centers exposing people to deadly pathogens like the SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the current Covid-19 pandemic. It was a matter of time for this time bomb to explode and cause such a dramatic impact in the world, as a result of environmental overexploitation and biodiversity’s mismanagement.
Governments, with the help of local and international organizations, have a great opportunity and responsibility to set their countries and the world on a more sustainable path. Currently, policies and subsidies have been structured towards the protection and conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. Governments have understood the importance of reforming subsidies that are harmful to nature and introducing the payment of taxes for those activities involved in environmental degradation and biodiversity loss. The encouragement and promotion of effective nature-based projects and the strengthening of environmental monitoring and regulation procedures are being backed up by the governments and private sector initiative of creating more nature-based jobs. This in turn boosts up the economy and supports recovery processes within the ecosystems, promoting biodiversity’s conservation and restoration.
In addition to these actions, governments all around the world have banned wildlife traffic and taken precautionary measures to ensure food security and healthy consumption. In the same way, society leaders have conducted educational campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of establishing more sustainable alternative activities and confronting the problem through green investment and reinforcement of a more environmentally friendly economy and market.
Given the current situation, ALLCOT has a clear vision of its role in enhancing practices for the promotion of a resilient and well-functioning ecosystem. As a leader in the formulation of sustainable and climate change mitigation projects, ALLCOT supports the conservation of ecosystems and thus, the protection of biodiversity. Through the projects focused on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, ALLCOT tackles deforestation and forest fragmentation restoring biological corridors and protecting flora and fauna species, especially those key species considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered due to their role as environmental indicators of a healthy ecosystem. Together with the mitigation and climate action scheme, ALLCOT develops a variety of sustainable initiatives around renewable energy, energy and resource management, and waste management. Through these series of projects, the organization conducts a qualitative evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that could be positively impacted by the project’s activities and is currently working on a methodology that will allow monitoring this impact.
Among the activities that support the implementation of these programs, the projects include educational campaigns towards wildlife traffic, the correct resource, and environmental management, finance administration, governance, social leadership, etc. Additionally, supporting the previous idea of the encouragement and promotion of nature-based projects, ALLCOT develops well-structured plans that involve local community participation which gives them the opportunity to establish and learn about sustainable alternative activities and businesses.
We must realize that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Resources overexploitation, plastic pollution, overfishing, and the contamination of water sources are some additional critical issues that humankind must confront through the alignment of sustainable initiatives and actions. The formulation of such nature-based projects must receive clear support from the government and the private sector. These investments and subsidies will create a more resilient economy and will also tackle social problems such as poverty and hunger. Allcot’s contribution to the conformation and realization of these projects highlights the strong commitment that the organization has with the Paris Agreement objectives and the 2030 Agenda goals.
A few months ago we launched the ALLCOTooNS project and today we announce the second edition of this contest, which seeks to encourage children to get involved in the Sustainable Development Goals- SDG, the 17 goals set by the United Nations for the 2030 Agenda. In this opportunity, we wanted to hear the children’s perspective on the SDG #5: Gender Equality, one of the central themes of the current public debate, and which is still reflected in worrying figures such as the 132 million girls who do not have access to education worldwide.
It is crucial that children are involved in the conversation. This is why our aim at ALLCOT is to bring them up with questions that allow them to be critical of the reality they face every day, and above all, to be aware that they can take sides: it is the daily actions that build change. With this purpose, we carried out the 2nd ALLCOTooNS FORUM, where we could talk to some of the participants and listen to how they live the gender issue in their daily lives, a space of encounter that acquires a special value in the midst of the isolation that we all face due to the COVID pandemic19.
Talking with the participants, we found that the boys and girls are very aware of their context, have very clear references of women who have been pioneers – like Malala Yousafzai, to name one example – and also know that the work to achieve gender equality and to guarantee that all voices are heard is a task that is built by all of us. Without further due, we leave you with the works of art in which the little ones have shaped their vision, so that they can speak for themselves:
|Natalia López||Valeria López|
|Diego Muñoz García||Inés Muñoz García|
SDG #5 – 2nd round: Winners
Our Ethics Committee, chaired by Mr. Van Kirk Reeves, has delivered that the winners of this first contest are:
- Category under 10 years old: Diego Muñoz
- Category over 10 years old: Gabriela
Written by Andrés Melendro, Sustainability Manager
Last Wednesday, June 16th, the Center for Sustainable Development for Latin America (CODS) launched its SDG Index: a measure of the progress of Latin American and Caribbean countries towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The report highlights that, overall, the region is not meeting the goals set forth in the 2030 Agenda, and that the health and economic crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic also represents a considerable setback in most of the SDGs. If the current trend continues, the goals set in 2015 would not materialize even on a 50-year horizon.
SDG 13, Climate Action, stands out as an exception because widespread quarantines and restrictions on production have led to a considerable drop in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the rebound effect is foreseeable since the reduction is circumstantial. In particular, it is possible that the interest of investing in sustainable projects and green technologies gets delayed by the haste to reactivate or protect sectors of greater importance for the immediate future of a company. In this sense, ALLCOT’s work to develop projects that generate financial incentives to reduce emissions is more relevant than ever.
The methodology advanced by the CODS is based on the one that the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has been using for several years worldwide to establish international comparisons. The CODS adjusts it to the statistical reality of the countries of the region, given the unavailability of many indicators. In this way, the comparison becomes more valid. In some cases, for some States, there is no available methodology for SDG measurement. Another issue is the lack of data: the index requires figures ex-ante and ex-post 2015 to measure progress since the creation of the 2030 Agenda.
The report also includes a visualization tool called the dashboard. This allows to highlight, through a traffic light code, how close an SDG is to being fulfilled, in order to serve as a prioritization tool in each country.
The publication of the SDG Index, as well as the creation of the municipal SDG indexes in Colombia cities by the Corona Foundation through its network tracking cities’ wellbeing, illustrate the trend towards the appropriation of the SDGs by non-governmental entities and their measurement at sub-national scales. The private sector, and in particular organizations setting standards for corporate sustainability reports, have also included the SDGs in their performance metrics. Precisely, ALLCOT is currently developing statistical tools to quantify the impact of the socioeconomic co-benefits of its climate change mitigation projects, through the 230 indicators associated with the 17 SDGs.
This exercise presents several challenges, given that the project areas tend to be smaller than local political-administrative divisions in the country where the project is developed and usually do not coincide with their geographical limits. ALLCOT, like the CODS, adapts the SDG indicators to the real data availability and to variables that make more sense depending on the specific context. In addition, to mitigate the absence of local data in many rural areas of developing countries, ALLCOT has created mechanisms for collecting primary data to establish a meaningful SDG baseline. In this way, ALLCOT takes a leadership role in measuring corporate impact on sustainable development.
Written by Enrique Lendo, Business Development Mexico Advisor
The current economic landscape is complex, a different scenario from all the sustainability projections for 2020. At the macro level, governments are now able to choose whether the incentives built into their economic recovery policies will be directed to traditional, less competitive, and more polluting industries, or towards sectors that will create economic gains and social welfare in the long term. For instance, investment in renewable energy could bring gains of $100 trillion dollars, create 42 million new jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector by 70% by 2050.
At the micro-level, manufacturers will have to adapt to the new trends in the value chains of a less interconnected world and find input providers closer to their production centers. In the service sector, digitization and virtualization have expanded like never before, fostering innovation and the development of new products and processes. Only these companies and sectors able to adapt with creativity and speed will survive in the post-Covid world.
In the coming months, trillions of dollars will be mobilized to address both the sanitary and economic crisis triggered by Covid-19. However, only a small fraction of national governments, regional groups, and subnational jurisdictions have signaled their intent to consider sustainability principles and policy tools in their economic recovery plans. The European Union has ratified its net-zero emissions commitment for 2050 by placing its “Green Deal” at the center of its economic recovery strategy, while the new government of South Korea will base its economic recovery plan on incentives for green recovery to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
In the Americas, this issue has been part of the debate in the recent US legislative and the upcoming national elections, with lawmakers proposing a “Green Deal” as one of the pillars for the economic recovery strategy. In addition, a number of subnational governments such as New York and California have incorporated climate green objectives in their economic recovery plans. On the other hand, Canada’s federal government has stated that the crisis will not obstruct its climate change commitment and it is supporting investment projects to help industries meet their methane emissions goals. Notably, however, climate change and sustainability agendas have been absent in the language of politicians, CEOs, and other decision-makers in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region.
While LAC contributes only 11% to global greenhouse gases (GHG), the region is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. At the same time, many countries in the regions have stood out for their mitigation and adaptation strategies, with emerging carbon pricing schemes in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina.
Due to its rich forest, ocean, coastal and biodiversity resources, as well as highly proficient technical expertise in carbon accounting, the region is also a priority geography for Nature-Based Climate Solutions (NCS) Along with globalization, economic integration and the building of environmental laws and institutions in the last years, the private sector in many LAC countries has embraced environmental responsibility principles and practices.
Covid-19´s economic crisis presents major challenges for the LAC region. In this context, governments and companies already engaged in the path towards low emissions and sustainable development might be tempted to deviate from longer-term sustainability goals to address more immediate short-term needs. Opportunities to boost long term and financially sustainable economic growth and create millions of jobs should be secured in cleaner industries. A recent report by UN -Climate found that 35 million green jobs can be created in LAC if the region invests in a 100% renewable energy matrix and electrifies its transport sector. At the same line, tens of millions of jobs could be created in the forest, rural and coastal sectors through forest conservation and restoration, as well as sustainable agriculture and blue carbon projects, financed with carbon compensation credits, green bonds and other financing innovative tools using SDGs and NDCs as benchmarks.
It is in this context that countries in the LAC region will need to design their recovery strategies according to their needs and circumstances, preferably based on low emission and sustainable development criteria. In the design of such strategies, it will be necessary to consider both the scale of resources and incentives needed, as well as the different sources of funding, policy tools, and industries/sectors to trigger the adjustment.
Currently, countries in the region finance their recovery strategies from international sources such as rescue packages from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and from national public and private sources. In addition, governments may adjust their regulatory frameworks to ease the compliance cost with different standards for the benefit of vulnerable citizens or industries. They can also strengthen regulations, standards, and supervision in those sectors or industries presenting a higher risk to the economy or public health.
The stimulus measures commonly used to incentivize economic recovery in times of crisis include direct government transfers and subsidized interest loans, fiscal loans, debt restructuring or forgiveness, stabilization funds, and investment in infrastructure and public works projects, among others. The destiny of resources can vary from companies and organizations to communities and citizens, according to priority geographies, sectors, and industries in each country. Some areas of opportunities for “Green/Sustainable Recovery Strategies” in LAC countries include:
- Trade and investment incentives for clean and sustainable products and services
- Price incentives for energy intensive industries, including carbon pricing and subsidies phase-out in key environmentally harmful sectors.
- Public/private investment in natural capital, resilience, adaptation, and sustainable agroforestry, fisheries, and food systems, including Nature-Based Climate Solutions.
- Automation of processes, digitization, and virtualization of transactions and services.
- Investment in industries and sectors with high potential for green/sustainable job creation.
- Reconfiguration of infrastructure investment in the transport-mobility, housing, education, services, entertainment, and leisure.
- Investment in R&D to boost innovation and improve products and processes towards sustainable patterns of production and consumption.
- Regulatory and fiscal incentives for sustainable businesses.
Building on CPLC´s model for enhancing dialogue, creating knowledge, and boosting advocacy amongst public and private leaders, a public-private dialogue process is proposed to identify concrete opportunities and projects in the area of carbon pricing, sustainable finance, and economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.The initiative could start in countries active in the carbon pricing arena such as Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Argentina, but also others considering carbon pricing instruments at the subnational level or among private actors like Brazil, and with high potential for investment in NCS sectors such as Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Peru.
IETA has already launched a process to develop Natural Climate Solution strategies in the region starting with Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil. In the north of the hemisphere, Canada’s federal government, some Canadian provinces, as well as some states in the US, might be interested in participating. The process could consider representatives from the following areas:
- National and subnational governments
- Central Banks
- Business groups and private companies with green/sustainable profile
- Banking and finance associations
- NGOs and think tanks
- Youth organizations and leaders
- International Organizations and Development Banks: World Bank, IFC, CPLC, IDB, CAF, UN-ECLAC, UN-Climate, UN-Environment, UNDP, CDB, OECD, GGGI.
Written by Natalia Rodrigo, Head of Group Business Development
Air pollution impacts from cooking comprising wood-based fuel and charcoal represent 2% of GHG global emissions. This wood-based fuel comes from unsustainable and uncontrolled harvesting practices, which lead to forest degradation and its sub consequent loss of carbon sequestration capacity. In addition, forest degradation is related directly to soil erosion, soil and water pollution, flood risk increase, and biodiversity loss, among others.
It has been reported that nearly 3 billion people make use of this type of household cooking process, mainly located in the least developed countries (LDCs). Apart from the damage to nature and environment protection, this traditional household cooking practice also implies tangible impacts on public health.
As a result, aimed at the urgency of trying to change this dramatic situation, local initiatives have been created. These strategies are supported by international alliances and investors, which promote the gradual substitution of wood-based fuel and charcoal stoves to more efficient devices, enabling to reduce from 30 to 90% the CO2 emissions which are resulted from household cooking. The reduction rate depends, of course, on the technology and type of fuel used by the stove.
Mitigating climate change and environmental degradation require an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to the three billion people who live without it. From ALLCOT, we develop and support energy demand projects based on the efficiency improvement of traditional household cooking stoves.
All in all, efficient cookstoves projects foster not only GHG reductions but also nurture sustainable development among local communities by advocating the integration of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With this cookstove delivery project, we can impact 10 different SDG at once:
SDG 3 Good health & Well-being: Efficient cookstove projects eliminate the black carbon resulted from traditional devices, promoting decrease rates on respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases.
SDG 4 Quality Education: Efficient cookstove projects compose an educational strategy based on operation and maintenance as well as environmental and H&S (Health and Safety) awareness.
SDG 5 Gender Equality: Women are empowered across the implementation of these projects due to the fact of their leadership on the educational strategy.
SDG 6 Clean Water and sanitation: Awareness programs across local communities in terms of the importance of boiling water to prevent gastrointestinal diseases.
SDG 7 Affordable & Clean Energy: Improved cookstoves are based on long-term use devices, boosting effective fuel consumption, implying tangible money-saving across local communities.
SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure: An inclusive industry, based on R&D and improvement of infrastructure, is created across efficient cookstove projects.
SDG 10 Reduce inequalities: Improved cookstoves are based on an affordable price, which encourages local communities to acquire this technology.
SDG 13 Climate Action: Efficient cookstoves projects enable us to reduce from 30 to 90% of the CO2 emissions which are resulted from traditional household cooking devices.
SDG 15 Life on land: Efficient cookstoves projects promote the effective fight against forest degradation and biodiversity loss.
SDG 17 Partnership for the goals: An inclusive industry as well as worldwide institutional alliances are created across cookstove projects.
This project is an example of the effectiveness of cross-cutting projects, which, through concrete action manage to address several issues. For this reason, ALLCOT continues to be committed to this type of action that represents a long-term benefit for both the community and the environment.
Written by Enrique Lendo, Business Development Mexico Advisor.
The World Environment Day sets a landmark for the international community. On June 5 of 1972, the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment triggered a process that has produced over 500 international environmental cooperation instruments to date. Mexico has subscribed about a 100 of these agreements, strengthening our environmental management capacity and positioning our country as a player committed with global challenges.
Currently, most of the countries around the world have enacted environmental laws and established institutions for their implementation. However, they have not been capable to halt global environmental degradation. Greenhouse gas emissions have doubled since the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. We have also lost 80% of wildlife species biomass and half of the natural ecosystem’s original areas due to massive deforestation, urbanization and pollution. Over one million species around the world are in danger of extinction.
But in the last years, the methodologies to monetize climate change impacts and the contribution of natural capital to the economy have also been improved. For instance, we know that services provided by biodiversity to productive systems are worth at least 1.5 times the value of global GDP. We also know that natural disasters cost over $100 billion dollars a year in damages and that the cost of climate change inaction could reach over 15% of global GDP by 2050.
Therefore, capital markets around the world are currently tuning their risk models to account for environmental and climate change impact of investment projects. On one the hand, physical infrastructure is more vulnerable to hydrometeorological impacts, on the other, the new generations of consumers and investors demand responsibly produced goods and services. Mexico´s Central Bank (Banco de México) and the UN have recently released the “Climate and Environmental Risks and Opportunities in Mexico’s Financial System”, setting this sector in a path that will reward sustainability and punish pollution through risk assessment.
The post-covid19 crisis provides a point of inflection in which governments and companies are able to choose between updating their strategies towards sustainability patterns or perpetuate inefficient and shortsighted growth models. In the last weeks, countries, regional blocks, and subnational governments around the world have announced green recovery strategies. The European Union just released its € 750 billion economic recovery package to finance low carbon infrastructure. In the US, Democrats are positioning a “Green Deal” in the face of the upcoming national elections, while South Korea and Indonesia already implement green recovery plans.
In contrast, sustainability has been absent in the language of decision-makers in the Latin American region despite its potential to scaleup investment, create jobs, and foster welfare in the long term. A recent UN report concluded that the transition towards renewable energy and transport electrification in the region could create 35 million jobs by 2050. In Mexico, millions of people living in rural areas could benefit from investment packages to foster sustainable practices in the agriculture and forest sectors. But in order to harness these opportunities, governments need to start designing their economic recovery strategies with a comprehensive and long term perspective. Never in history had we been presented with such an attractive and feasible chance to redefine our development model.
** Article originally published in Reforma news paper:
Written by Ronal Cubeo, Climate Change Mitigation Consultant
Out of the issues that trouble us as humanity, the most visible one nowadays is the COVID 19 pandemic. Certainly, the expansion, magnitude, and impact that it has had on countries at different stages of industrial and technological development have created great challenges, perhaps one of the most important being communication.
I was asked to write a short piece on “The importance of communication in the time of COVID” and relate it to the concept of MALOCA. In this sense, it is necessary to specify the concept and meaning of MALOCA in the indigenous populations of the Colombian Amazon. The MALOCA has at least three functions: first, as a physical space where families live; second, as a vital space for culture and worldview of the indigenous community, it represents par excellence the space for transmission of knowledge through orality —from the origins of each living being, the relationship between man and the creatures around him, as well as the relationship with creative entities who live in other spaces healing rituals and traditional dances are performed in this space—; third, as a political space, it is also a space for discussion on issues that affect the community organization and lifestyle.
Regarding communication, it is worth mentioning that the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, although they present particularities in their worldview, also present common elements. One of them is that in order to communicate among themselves and with others, the first thing that must be done is to “order one’ s thoughts” in order to be able to transmit words that have real content, life content.
How can indigenous communities contribute to communication in the face of the current pandemic crisis? The first thing we should mention is that, in the worldview of indigenous peoples, the land and the living beings and other elements that constitute it are intimately related. In the beginning, when the Creator Being assigned each element a function, it was up to man to “administer” those elements in a harmonious manner in order to maintain the order that was given to him. Diseases are a consequence of the human transgression to those principles: when men look at nature as resources and resources as commodities that can be exploited, this rationality disturbs the indigenous world’s principles of life, and therefore changes are produced, along with its consequences.
In this sense, what indigenous peoples can contribute in terms of communication is linked to life itself, and refers to the principles of life, to retake the channels of communication with nature and other elements that compose it, in a holistic manner and under the principle of responsibility on behalf of the preservation of humanity. This is based on the principle that the earth and its entire composition was given to us by the Creator Being to be “managed” in a responsible manner, without altering its natural cycles.
ALLCOT, which aims to contribute through environmentally responsible projects to the reduction of GHGs, is expected to explore channels of communication with local communities, aware of the challenges involved in carrying out projects with diverse local actors, in a country whose territorial realities make up what Uribe de Hincapié (1999) calls “mixed sovereignty”, that is, the practice of local governance as a confluence of different actors.
Approaching indigenous peoples will allow us to explore other forms of organizations specific to each people, other ways of understanding the world, of understanding nature and, above all, other ways of communicating and relating to the land, to life itself. Understanding the principles of the life of each society is the unavoidable step to assume the challenge of assertive communication.
The invitation is to learn these “other” forms of understanding life, to seek this knowledge in the “other” that will enable spaces for discussion and decision-making regarding the environmental aspects. For indigenous communities, “what is not in the indigenous knowledge is in the other knowledge” (Palma, 2019), the other knowledge is outside the indigenous world, but it is not beyond their understanding, the discoveries should be complementary, not excluded. Exploring and comprehending these “other” ways of understanding life can contribute a great deal to the environmental agenda, national and global.
Written by Ginna Castillo, Climate Change Mitigation Consultant
Historically speaking, cities emerged as places of encounter and agglomeration. Nowadays, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 55% of the world’s population lives in those places, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the most effective strategy to avoid exposure to the virus has been social distancing which means that 55% of the population must rethink their way of living in order to avoid Coronavirus. In terms of transportation, new questions are arising on how to move through the city while remaining healthy or even if it is necessary to move on a daily basis at all.
So far, even under strict lockdown people working in essential occupations had to commute every day. Now, as some sectors of the economy are gradually re-opening in some countries, the possibility of social contact is getting higher, thus citizens are drastically migrating to individual yet affordable means of transportation. Governments are also being part of this shift by encouraging the use of non-powered vehicles or walking. There are around 250 local actions around the world to support walking and cycling during social distancing (Dataset from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center).
There is no doubt cycling is rising as the most resilient mean of transportation during the pandemic since it allows longer distances than walking on a small or cero daily budget. According to the World Economic Forum, most of the local initiatives have to do with free rides on shared bicycle services and offering more kilometers of bike lanes by adapting space from local roads or even highways in cities like Bogota, Milan, Barcelona or Brussels, to name a few. Meanwhile, community collaboration efforts are also taking part in transforming urban mobility through projects such as Lend-A-Bike in Manila.
These governmental or community initiatives have the potential of keeping ongoing after the COVID 19 pandemic is over, even if most of them are only taking place as temporal measures during the confinement. The first step in this direction is being taken by the government of the Ile-de-France region who is now considering cycling as the main mean of transport after deconfinement (LeParisien). But that is just the tip of the iceberg, discussions about mobility are happening everywhere and new questions are arising on unnecessary car trips, home office and proximity to jobs and services, among others.
It is well known that climate change is one of the most urgent environmental challenges of our time, so if all cities were to pay attention to these new questions and initiatives instead of following the business as usual scenario before the pandemic, wonderful things would happen simply because we are now capable of changing habits on a global scale. For starters, and just by cycling, greenhouse gas emissions would drastically drop. According to the ranking of urban transport modes made by travelandmobility.tech, moving by a gasoline car generates around 96% more emissions than moving by bicycle (gram per passenger kilometers). That is during the whole life cycle of each vehicle: manufacture, operation, maintenance, and disposal.
Still, this seems to be the first step of a very long path. From this point forward, cities will have the challenge of redistributing public space and perhaps redefine street hierarchy by putting people before cars. Land use will have to be even more diverse in order to guarantee proximity between homes, services, and jobs so that the distances for commuting are either walkable or suitable for cycling. Last but not least, public transport will get more relevant on long distances and intermodality would have to become a reality. All these changes will ultimately lead to a more sustainable way of life and a more sustainable future.