The life principles of indigenous communities, an alternative for communication


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.

The path to a sustainable future


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.       

#SDG17 ALLCOT involves the little ones through “ALLCOTooNS and the SDGs”

 

The COVID-19 in a matter of weeks transformed our entire world. Daily routines and everything we took for granted, like being able to go outside or hug a friend, are becoming distant scenarios. However, this moment of confinement provides alternative spaces of reflection and encounter, with others and with ourselves.

The crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 has led us to rethink the entire economy and the existing work dynamics. Without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges is to maintain productivity and effectiveness at work, despite social distancing. For ALLCOT, the safety and welfare of our workers is a priority, so we follow the instructions given by the authorities and support from day one in the form of telecommuting. This way, our employees can continue to carry out their work from the comfort of their homes, thus balancing their personal and professional lives.

ALLCOT creates spaces to share with its employees

Since the beginning of this situation, we wanted to keep close to our workers and technology has become our best ally to achieve this. However, distance has never been an obstacle for us because the ALLCOT team is located around the world: Colombia, Mexico, France, Senegal, Spain, Guatemala, among others.  Considering this, we launched our monthly FORUM, a meeting space that allows us to relate to all workers, tell our stories, and, of course, catch up on the current state of the company. This reaffirms the reliability of ALLCOT, which in the midst of the crisis continues to operate at 100% of its capacity and in continuous growth.

These moments have enabled the construction of new spaces, and we wanted the families of our employees to be part of our daily battle for the environment.  This is how ALLCOTooNS was born, a diverse space where children could express their ideas, get to know each other, and share with the people in our organization.

ALLCOTooNS and the SDGs

Therefore, we have created “ALLCOTooNS and the SDGs”, a contest in which children can create from a craft, drawing or any object, what each SDG represents for them, and what actions could be taken to achieve it. ALLCOT Ethics Committee will be in charge of evaluating and informing the winners, who will receive an honorable mention and a bonus with which they must perform a small action in benefit of the SDG proposed. This competition is divided into two categories: under 10 years and over 10 years.

#SDG13 – 1st round: Artists and their Works

On this occasion, the first category chosen was SDG 13 “Climate Action”. Below, we present the artists and their works of art:

Francisco Cabrejo

Heronimo Pombo

Valentina

Raphael Leroy

Valentina Lopez

Diego Muñoz

Gabriela

Luisa de Brigard

Ines Muñoz

#SDG13 – 1st 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: Inés Muñoz
  • Category over 10 years old: Diego Frowein 

Congratulations! 

Sustainability must not be compromised

 


Written by Enrique Lendo, Business Development Mexico Advisor.


Back in January, 2020 promised to be the “Super Year” of sustainable development. A growing number of companies, with assets close to $40 trillion dollars, committed to transit towards low emission and sustainable production and financing systems. For the first time, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report ranked environmental and climate risk at the top of its tables, over economic and geopolitical risk. In the framework of the United Nations, fundamental decisions for the climate change, biodiversity and oceans agendas have been postponed due to the pandemic. 

COVID 19 has exposed our vulnerability, as human species, before biological and natural phenomena as well as how fragile our economic and political systems are to global emergencies. The irrational management of biodiversity and ecosystems has triggered the evolution of viruses as climate change boosts its geographical reach and hastens its spread with massive consequences to human lives.  

On the other hand, social distancing and isolation measures recommended to contain the pandemic fosters significant changes in the scale and the structure of the global economy. 2020 will face one of the largest recessions in modern history with contractions of 13% in trade and 1% of global GDP and impact to 1.6 billion jobs throughout the world. The GDP contraction in México will be the range of 6 to 10% by the end of 2020.

However, the current crisis also provides an unprecedented opportunity to restructure our economic system towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns in the framework of the environmental, financial and social agendas. At macro level, governments are able to decide whether incentives considered in 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 would bring gains of $100 trillion dollars by 2050, or returns of $3 to $8 dollars per unit invested. Such investment could also create 42 million new jobs and reduce green house gas emissions in the energy sector by 70%. In contrast, fossil fuels are responsible for 70% of global CO2 emissions, receive subsidies up to $5 trillion dollars a year and, in the case of oil, have experienced negative returns in the last days. Today, Mexico’s Pemex costs 24 billion dollars in losses to taxpayers and the auctions to allocate clean energy certificates have been postponed

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, digitalization and virtualization has 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. However, sustainable consumption and production patterns will only be attained if policies and incentives are crafted properly. In the framework of economic recovery plans, environmental standards should not be downgraded, and support tools must not be directed towards polluting industries over more sustainable ones, otherwise inefficiencies will prevail and opportunities to boost green and sustainable growth will be lost.

A Green Restart for the World


Written by Alexis Leroy, CEO ALLCOT


The coronavirus pandemic has been a huge wake-up call for the world. In one short month, large swathes of the economy have either closed or been forced to scale back significantly. Air travel is virtually non-existent, private transport has shrunk to a shadow of its former self, and retail has almost entirely closed its doors.

And while we have been self-isolating at home, it’s given us all a chance to consider what we’re giving up, what choices we can’t make, and even whether we’d choose the same things again whenever restrictions are lifted. The lockdown has also turned into a fountain of ideas; ideas on how we can take this opportunity to rebuild our economies in a more sustainable way.

To be fair, some blueprints for a sustainable future are already on the table. In the US, the Green New Deal harkened back to President Roosevelt’s plan to bring the country back from the Great Depression of the 1920s. The 21st century version focused on climate change, the biggest challenge of our times, as well as social and economic inequality.

In Europe, the newly-elected Commission brought forward its own Green Deal last year, which is even more ambitious than its US counterpart. The EU plan seeks to turn the bloc’s entire economy upside down, refocusing on sustainability, climate, transitional measures to diversify and modernize the economy and offer opportunities for all. The proposals on both sides of the Atlantic are fortunate in their timing, as we grapple with “the fastest, deepest economic shock in history”. A lot of thinking has already been done.

For Asia, too, the pandemic represents an opportunity to embark upon the same shift, away from mimicking the West and towards a more sustainable, self-reliant economic model. Indeed, it may be the east’s only hope, if the kind of proposals that we read today are put into action elsewhere.

The liberal market-based economic model has been around for around 300 years. Globalization was the last great leap forward for the neoliberal interpretation, and coronavirus’ rapid expansion around the world is the warning that we cannot continue as we have done. The economy that evolved in the 18th century took the world as it saw it. It did not experience, as we do today, the immense impact of industry and business on our earth and our climate. 

Pollution and resource scarcity were not considered problems 300 years ago, and all our efforts since then have been too modest, too piecemeal, and have been largely shrugged aside by the interests of old-world business models.

Yet today, we understand how our economic model impacts our health, our well-being. We can quantify the harmful effects of air pollution, just as we can quantify the cost of natural disasters.

With all this knowledge and understanding, gained through the immense technological advances of just the last 50 years, we have an opportunity to set a new course for the coming decades.

What must be done?

At a macroeconomic level, the world needs to commit, again and with greater force, to the purpose of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. We need governments to line up behind these aims, to make pledges that are ambitious, believable and achievable, and develop the pathway towards achieving the ultimate prize.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have a simple target: “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. They consist of 17 ambitions including reducing inequality, clean water and sanitation, climate action, responsible consumption and production, and zero hunger. All of these goals can be achieved with a thoughtful approach to re-building our shared economy.

And thanks to technology and understanding, progress towards the SDGs can now be quantified. Health, education, economic opportunity, stable societies, and even gender equality can be measured and assessed. And this quantification of achievement can now be rewarded. For the first time in our economic history, intangible impacts are now becoming tangible items on balance sheets. Efforts such as the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure are slowly moving the needle on bringing externalities like greenhouse gases into the realm of real costs. And in the same way, improving our collective health, safety and prosperity can also be rewarded, in lower external costs (like carbon emissions and businesses losses) as well as in lower human costs.

The Paris Agreement has one, just one, simple goal: to ensure that by the middle of the century all our emissions of greenhouse gases are balanced by sinks that absorb those same gases. Again, this is a target that we can achieve if we plan carefully and put in the work, the investment, and the research to make it happen.

What will we gain? We will begin to return our climate to a state where catastrophic weather events are not “normal”, where deforestation does not rob peoples and species of their home, where water stress does not force mass migrations.

At a national or even multinational level, how can we make the changes that the future requires of us?

A Green Rebuilding

As we eventually emerge from the shadow of Covid-19, economies will need government help to re-start. Already we have seen billions of dollars, or euros, of pounds, spent to assist businesses and people to get through the lockdown. And we will see billions more spent to assist businesses to rebuild and restart their operations. We should make sure that we do not focus on short-term survival but on long term sustainability.

While we defend the independence of the private sector, when it comes to receiving publicly-financed assistance, the private sector should be required to follow public policy. Instead of spending 90% of the assistance on propping up existing business models, shouldn’t our leaders be looking at making our economy more resilient?

Financial assistance should come with conditions. Industrial companies should be required to make improvements and changes to their processes that match the SDGs. Where a factory now buys power from a gas-fired plant, any government assistance should require that it buys renewable power – a simple and achievable solution that comes at no additional cost.

Manufacturers should be required to use recyclable packaging, ensure the products are recyclable or reusable, and that their processes are as clean as possible. Regulations could be stiffened to require those producers to take legal responsibility for all lifetime waste associated with their products.

Commercial businesses should re-examine their practices and see what flexibility they can build into their operations. During the pandemic, we have seen an explosion in the use of video conferencing to maintain social links. Millions of people have been working effectively from home, rather than commuting to offices. Do we all, as employers *and* employees, need to commute to offices that use even more resources?

Instead of global supply chains, the business should be encouraged to look locally for materials and supplies, thereby reducing transportation emissions and pollution, and supporting the local community and its economy. And do we need to travel quite so much for business or for pleasure? There already is a growing awareness of the impact our travel habits have on the environment and climate, but the recovery from this global shutdown offers a real opportunity to wean ourselves off needless travel. 

Personal Greening

Lastly, how can you and I as individuals translate these goals into action on the ground? 

As consumers, we can make more responsible choices and look after our outputs. When we buy, we should buy responsibly: are products reusable, recyclable and re-purposeable? Do our products even need packaging?

When we do consume, are we consuming more than we need? Are the electricity, gas, and resources that we use going from renewable sources or are we drawing on finite resources like oil or coal? Do we need to drive all the kilometers that we do? Is our flight necessary? Are we lighting and heating our houses responsibly?

Alternative products already exist for many of us, as we all know. But, critically, alternative choices exist too. It’s time we began to exercise more robustly our power of choice and, as individuals and consumers, ramp up pressure on business, on policy-makers, and on each other to think about the impact we have on our home.

Conclusion

The free-market economic model that was born in the heart of the Industrial Revolution, and which has lasted 300 years, is not fit for the 21st Century and the challenges it presents. We must not insist on a return to business-as-usual.

We, therefore, call on business around the world to acknowledge that the rebuilding of our economies in the wake of this pandemic cannot merely return us to the way things were before. The private sector must accept its historic role in bringing us to this point, and take on both the responsibility as well as the opportunity to fix our problems, even where the government is slow to act.

ALLCOT and Conservation International Colombia, an alliance with a strong sustainable impact in benefit of the ecosystems and communities in Colombia.

Although Colombia has one of the worldwide highest indexes of biodiversity, it has decreased by 18% during the last years. The biggest threat is the natural habitat’s loss due to agriculture and cattle industries. It is our responsibility to protect the ecosystems and to fight against the climate change that affects much of the national territory, especially to the underprivileged communities.

ALLCOT, with more than 10 years of experience, develops worldwide sustainable projects providing its clients and collaborators with the knowledge and management expertise of initiatives aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to actively fight against the climate change crisis. We establish a commitment and therefore create alliances with other companies that, like us,  appreciate the environment.

Conservation International Foundation (CI) works to highlight and maintain the benefits that nature provides to humanity. From the start, CI has worked to protect more than 5 million square km (2.3 square miles) of land and ocean across more than 70 countries. Currently, it is established among 29 countries and has 2 thousand partners around the world. 

Based on a solid foundation of science, partnership, and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to take care of nature, global diversity, and humanity’s well-being in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Thanks to the common values and the interest of both in recovering and working in favor of nature, ALLCOT and Conservation International Colombia join forces with the target of executing Sustainable Socio-Environmental Projects, aligned under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of United Nations, that have a strong impact in the conservation of the environment, adaptation to the climate crisis and the communities development.

“Today more than ever it is high time to act. Act with significant actions against the imperatives of the environmental crises and consequential social impacts. Thanks to the alliance with CI, our shared values, and long-term vision, we can accomplish our goals and commitments within Colombia” said Alexis L. Leroy, ALLCOT’s CEO.

“The development of carbon market in Colombia represents a great opportunity to consolidate conservation and sustainability processes of maximizing the benefits over strategic ecosystems and its communities. The experience of CI working on socio-environmental projects in the territory, added to that of ALLCOT in the design of GHG reduction projects, will allow the development and implementation of high-quality projects” says Fabio Arjona, vice president of the Colombia Conservation International program.

Sustainability in the fashion industry


Written by Natalia Rodrigo, Group Sustainability Technical Manager.


 

Recent studies on the fashion industry state that this sector highly needs to improve sustainability performance. Although it is true that most fashion brands are aware of their environmental and social impact, only less than half of them have started to take real action. In addition to this, fashion companies are not yet implementing sustainable solutions fast enough to effectively counteract all the negative impacts this hastily growing industry has.

Current patterns of production and consumption in the fashion industry endanger natural resources and generate a loss of biodiversity. Furthermore, it cannot be discarded increasing rates of carbon emissions, water consumption, chemical use, and waste generation. Considering that, our planet has already overcome its safe operating boundaries, restrictions on one or more of its key input factors cannot be discarded, making it difficult to grow at the projected rate of a predicted increase of 60% by 2030. 

In addition to this, other non-environmental challenging issues such as animal welfare, lack of transparency and negative image, for instance, pressuring society to live up to body ideals, cannot be consigned to oblivion.

It is a universally acknowledged truth that the fashion industry is regarded as a powerhouse for global development. This point can be illustrated by the position it has as one of the world’s largest consumer industries. As a result, this sector imperatively needs to perform differently. Far away from integrating profit and growth, fashion can provide additional value towards its products, resulting in tangible benefits across society as well as the world economy. 

Fashion, talent, and creativity always go hand in hand. This means that fashion has a far-reaching savoir-faire, is active on social media and counts with enough leverage to successfully work on its own transformation. 

Positively surprisingly, the fashion industry has already embarked on the challenging target of raising consumers ´awareness, undertaking for real and effective improvements, conforming wide networks dedicated to environmental, social, and transparent goals.

In addition to all of this, targeted investments made on technology as well as labor conditions and productivity, achievable heretofore will allow fashion brands to counterbalance current pressure. This point can be illustrated by current initiatives on converting textile waste into raw materials using advanced recycling techniques; reduce water and energy consumption due to innovative technology implementation as well as to integrate waste management techniques across production and distribution operations.

Taking all these new specialized strategies into account, a sneaking suspicion that acting differently nowadays as well as eagle eyeing for innovative solutions will provide these companies with a unique opportunity to manage and make certainly profitable growth forge ahead.

On the other hand, if no prompt action is taken, fashion brands will strain themselves to downgrade average unitary prices, deeper depreciation levels, rising costs, as well as resource shortage among the value chain. Undoubtedly, this industry is nowadays based on a linear ‘one-way street’ of take, make, and waste.

As a result, chain reactions across fashion are quite predictable. Considering current projections for growth in energy prices and salaries by 2030, fashion brands will suffer a decline in benefits if they still opt for business, as usual, consequently pledging their long-term resourcefulness.

In order to effectively address the rising environmental and social pressure, as well as to strike with the continuous industry boost, this sector is called to assess its footprint. In order to determine the industry’s environmental, social, and ethical gaps, ALLCOT helps the fashion industry to successfully identify the level of sustainability at each stage of the value chain. This strategy empowers companies to identify KPI´s and raise red flags for the weakest of them.  The main objective of this effort is to build-up knowledge, transparency, and overall sustainability. 

Without any doubt, this challenge in patterns ‘turnover also aims to establish the basis for prospective remodeling, investment channeling and innovation.

In conclusion, if the fashion industry does not take prompt and fast action on sustainability performance, its contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be significant, putting into high risk the commitments of the Paris Agreement and therefore the Agenda 2030.  As a result, it is urgently needed to place environmental, social, and ethical improvements as an indispensable task within management’s agendas.

The fashion industry has the iron in the fire to empower large-scale environmental and social change.  Integrating more energy-efficient and conscientious use of limited resources, fair working conditions, as well as progressing on upstream and downstream issues along the value chain are key strategies to make this change a reality.

ALLCOT is changing the change…

Carbon offsets should have the same value as PPAs for project finance


Written by Alexis Leroy, CEO ALLCOT


Carbon offsets are just as valid and valuable as renewable power

Anyone involved in developing clean energy projects around the world will be familiar with the demands of securing project finance. Lenders typically want to see a solid revenue stream before they consider financing renewable energy or low-carbon energy projects.

Normally, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) fits this requirement: a long-term offtake agreement with a high-quality buyer offers confidence that the project will generate steady cash flow to service its debt.

Occasionally a PPA by itself may not be regarded as a sufficient guarantee of performance, or the off taker’s credit quality may not be sufficiently strong. In such instances additional security can be added in the form of liquid guarantees or performance bonds.

But there is another revenue stream that can play its part: carbon offsets.

Carbon offsets represent the saving in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs); they’re measured against a baseline in which the project would use legacy technologies. In this way a wind farm, a solar park or a waste-to-energy plant represents savings in GHG emissions compared to coal or even gas-fired power.

The world is waiting for a new global offsets market to replace the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that will end when the Kyoto Protocol is superseded by the Paris Agreement in 2021. But in the meantime, there are plenty of opportunities to develop and sell carbon offsets for some existing markets. The revenues generated should help secure project finance.

South Africa and Colombia are leading the way in creating high-confidence markets for carbon offsets, by allowing them to be used in part payment of their respective national carbon taxes and thereby granting them a monetized value – at least on paper.

Besides, the International Civil Aviation Organisation is preparing the launch a global offsetting market for airlines in January 2021. Demand for offsets from airlines participating in CORSIA is projected to reach as much as 174 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) tonnes in 2025 and could be nearly 8 billion tCO2e by 2040.

And beyond these formally established, government-backed markets is a wide variety of voluntary carbon offsetting programs operated by large industrial, commercial and retail companies around the world. According to Forest Trends, nearly 49 million offsets were retired by governments, companies, and individuals in 2018.

There are plenty of challenges facing the use of carbon offsets as securities for project finance. Firstly, the revenue stream from offsets would likely form only a fraction of the overall project costs, and for some, it may simply not be worth the effort to incorporate offsets into a finance agreement.

Also, revenue streams from offset sales tend not to be regular, but “lumpy”. Offset projects must submit independent verification and reporting of the volume of emissions reduced before they can apply for the issuance of those credits, and the costs associated with that process usually mean they can only afford annual or even biennial issuance. Such periodic issuance may not be steady or regular enough to satisfy a lender.

Yet at the same time, using carbon revenue to secure financing may yield two significant benefits: the quality and the reliability of the purchaser. In the case of countries with carbon taxes that can be part-paid in offsets, the guarantor of demand is the government, and industrial emitters must abide by the law.

Similarly, in the case of CORSIA, the end-buyers will be international airlines seeking to comply with government-established, UN-approved targets.

Why is the end-use of the offset important? Because lenders are concerned not only with the scale of revenue streams from a project but also the reliability and creditworthiness of the buyers. Higher-quality off-takers will mean more security for the seller and hence for the lender.

Secondly, it’s important to understand that there is a direct link between the security of the supply of renewable electricity and the security of the supply of carbon offsets. It should be the case that any lender that relies on a PPA as security against project finance, should also be able to rely on the flow of offsets through an emissions reduction purchase agreement (ERPA).

Lenders will consider the reliability of the power project – how much power it is expected to deliver across the length of any contract – when estimating the value of the PPA. The PPA, therefore, is a measure of the potential supply of power, and it can, therefore, be a measure of the supply of carbon offsets.

In the case of many reliable renewable energy technologies – waste gas, solar and even wind power – the actual generation of power and the generation of offsets are very closely linked.

A project developer could even use future delivery of offsets as a source of seed capital for a project. This was a common practice under the UN Clean Development Mechanism. By arranging an ERPA with a buyer who is seeking offsets for some compliance or even voluntary purpose, a project developer can then use this ERPA to raise seed capital. To be sure, the volume of offsets may be subject to clipping, but the principle is sound.

So why don’t lenders take ERPAs into account? If we agree that the fight against climate change is paramount, then how can we not support carbon offsets as a valid source of capital, and indeed may be more valuable than megawatt-hours of renewable power generation?

Carbon footprint and Expotural, Feria de la Naturaleza y el Turismo Sostenible


Written by Patricia Piñero, Sustainability Consultant.


Between September 27th and 29th, the EXPOTURAL Nature and Sustainable Tourism Fair opened in Madrid in Hall 1 of IFEMA.

EXPOTURAL has become the national reference for sustainable tourism, where nature and biodiversity protection has the greatest role. It is a space to propose and facilitate the promotion and development of destinations through sustainable rural tourism.

A 6000 m2 venue hosted this celebration, accommodating numerous activities available to attendees. Among them the award for the best initiatives in sustainable tourism, being the winning company Bahía de Santander, and secondly, Casa del Tesoro. Bahía Santander received the award thanks to its ecotourism and environmental education project focused on the recovery of the osprey, through the installation of innkeepers and nests in height. A meeting point was also set up for professionals of Active Tourism business tables so that both exhibitors and attendees could participate in these business rounds.

In addition to all these activities, the II International Forum of Nature Tourism and Sustainable Tourism was held, a series of presentations and round tables developed within the pavilion, and structured in different blocks, which dealt with topics such as Ecotourism, Local Development and Sustainability, rural and active tourism, etc. All under a Responsible Tourism approach, above all, for the climate change mitigation.

Coinciding with the general strike called worldwide to support the fight against climate change, EXPOTURAL actively participated in this cause by dedicating the first day of the II International Forum of Nature Tourism and Sustainable Tourism to Climate Change, the latter being one of the structural axes of the fair’s philosophy.

Another edition in which we had the pleasure of being invited to participate in the forum and of being able to be an active part of EXPOTURAL, not only in the presentation we offered to attendees on the management of the carbon footprint for companies, but also contributing to offsetting the fair’s carbon footprint itself. 

Alfonso Polvorinos, technical director of the Fair and the Forum, contacted us some time ago to explore how we could assess the impact of the fair on climate change and mitigate it in the best possible way.

For the 2018 edition, we calculated the fair’s emission identified them and drew up a reduction strategy as recommendations adapted for it. After this study and conclusions, we offered the possibility of compensating for the emissions resulting from the activity of the fair, to obtain a neutral carbon balance. This was done and we have continued working to make it possible again in this edition.

This emission offsetting consists, in broad terms, of the economic investment in carbon credits, an international decontamination mechanism introduced by the Kyoto Protocol for the reduction of the emissions causing climate change.

Therefore, the fair compensated these emissions generated through its collaboration with the RMDLT project, a forestry project located in the Brazilian Amazon that works to protect this fragile ecosystem from the rampant deforestation of the jungle, while allowing degraded forests to have the opportunity to regenerate.

The project contributes to reaching 12 out of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, among the most prominent we can mention: the improvement of the quality of life of the families that reside within the area and the land tenure of the people committed to the conservation.

For more information check our website www.allcot.com, or you can contact us directly at the following email ppr@allcot.com

Reflections on Climate Week New York and the role of explorers.


Written by Alexis Leroy, CEO ALLCOT


Last month, the climate change community met in New York City for Climate Week. Numerous organizations hosted events around the city on the sidelines of official United Nations events, making Climate Week one of the largest climate gatherings of the year.

I attended, among other events, the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) “Carbon Forum North America”, held at the iconic Explorers Club headquarters in midtown.

The Explorers Club is an historic establishment that dates back to the early 20th century, when explorers such as Edmund Hillary, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and Charles Lindbergh would regale members with tales of extreme conditions, new species of animals – some are still displayed in the club – and their efforts to push back the boundaries of human knowledge and achievement.

I like to think it was no accident that IETA chose The Explorers Club to host their annual event. Climate change is unknown territory: we are charting a new path into the realm of changing weather patterns and mankind’s ability both to prevent and to adapt to a changing environment.

And it also occurred to me that what groups involved in climate change are doing is very much akin to exploration. Not only does our changing climate represent the new territory, but the efforts that nations are making to prevent catastrophic climate change are also an entirely new way to tackle environmental problems.

To apply market mechanisms to solve an environmental problem may seem contradictory, but it speaks to one of the most powerful forces that drives mankind: its ambition, its pursuit of security and knowledge and its desire to survive. All of these are represented in market systems, and they were also forces that drove the great explorers.

Recently, a study was published that showed how close cooperation among nations in linking their carbon pricing systems could bring down the cost of reducing emissions by as much as $250 billion a year by 2030. Efficiencies of scale, as well as closely aligned regulations, are critical to achieving these cost reductions. 

This is ground-breaking research that highlights how the power of markets can be used to achieve a global good. And the idea of markets for environmental outcomes is not even new: The United States pioneered the use of markets for environmental goals when it developed the first emissions trading systems for Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from coal-fired power plants in the 1970s.

This study explores the farther reaches of what may be possible if nations can agree on a clear and transparent set of standards and regulations for countries to use when setting up their carbon markets. The UN negotiations in Santiago this December will be critical to bringing to reality the exploratory work of work such as this study.

This research demonstrates how important it is that nations, as well as interest groups in the environmental space, consider the role of business. There are plenty of NGOs advocating for practical solutions to the problem of climate change, but not many of them address the concerns of the business community.

It’s not heresy to say this: whatever we may think of the global economy and its presence in our lives, business is among the most important constituencies that make up society. And as such, it has a role to play in addressing our problems.

Within the climate sphere alone, green NGOs advocate for solutions that consider science, human rights, climate justice, gender, youth, and workers. Why would it be seen as wrong that an NGO should help craft effective, efficient market mechanism regulations so that business can fully play its role?

Some may say that governments simply need to regulate carbon emissions out of existence, by imposing a tax on carbon dioxide. There are many parts of the world where that happens. Real explorers, however, are looking for ways that guarantee the environmental outcome, rather than government tax receipts.

Capitalism is often seen as incompatible with climate action; just look at the protests that are growing by the day around the world. The role of pioneers and explorers like IETA is to make the two work together, speeding up climate action by ensuring that there’s a real incentive to take action.