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A New Generation of Carbon Warriors, New Wave of Climate Action

Neeraj Prasad's picture

I knew there was something different about Carbon Expo this year as I looked up during the opening ceremony and noticed the room was packed, with standing room only for late arrivals. 

That is when I first asked myself: I know why I am here, but why are you here? I felt like a veteran carbon warrior among a sea of young fresh-faced carbon players.

I started coming to Carbon Expo in 2004, and this year, for the first time, there are plenty of people I don’t recognize. So today I took some time to ask people what they were doing here and why there seems to be a growing interest in carbon markets.

I first met up with Animesh Sourabh, who has been working for Carbon TradeXchange in London for two years. This was his first trip to Carbon Expo and he was pleased to finally meet people face-to-face who he had spoken with by phone for years. He wanted to know what makes Carbon Expo the flagship event for carbon markets. "I know why I am interested in carbon markets, but who are all the other stakeholders?" he asked. "I was curious to meet the ‘who’s who in the carbon sector'."

Tanya Weekes, Climate Change CapitalI then met Tanya Weekes (photo at left), director and portfolio manager in the carbon finance team at Climate Change Capital. She is here looking for business intel, she said. "I feel that people are steering their businesses in a different direction, and it's interesting to hear the paths they are taking, for example going into new markets, like California, and new environmental products, like renewable energy and biofuels," she said. "People are looking for green projects that also have an added revenue stream, such as a project that generates power, especially if the development cost is high."

Emilie Weiben and Neeraj Prasad at Carbon ExpoEmilie Wieben (at right), a climate finance officer from UNEP Risø Centre, is here for the first time to promote Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in historically under-represented regions, such as Africa. And Neil Dewet, of AitherCO2 in Dakar, is here to network with established industry and automotive power companies. It’s not his first time, and he feels like it’s a big family reunion: "It’s like a TV show – if you miss an episode, you don’t know what’s going on. Carbon Expo is a way to keep up with developments."

Ana Meyer of Green Resources is looking to promote her company’s reforestation projects in Mozambique, Uganda, and Tanzania. She is here to sell carbon credits and to get a feeling for where the market is going.

So where is the carbon market going? Well, the spotlight is certainly on domestic action. And while international climate negotiations may still be uncertain, everyone is talking about the need to put a price on carbon.

This was particularly important for Fabrice Le Saché, chairman and CEO of Ecosur Afrique. He has been coming to Carbon Expo for seven years and is looking for buyers of carbon credits – Ecosur has developed 40 projects in 17 countries. He likes that everyone is in one place, making networking easy.

And Francois Kabemba (at right with Venan Mabiala Ma Mabiala), is here to find partners for a biogas program in the DRC. "In September, we are launching a cookstove POA, and we are looking for partners, investors, and buyers," he said. "The first phase is financed by UNDP and Climate Corporation in Austria, for 20,000 stoves, but we are hoping to expand to 360,000." The production is taking place in Kenya for now, but he is hoping to bring it over to the DRC. This type of south-south cooperation leads to technology transfer and jobs.

There is clearly a new generation of carbon warrior on the rise. Their interest coincides with the emergence of new domestic markets and bodes well as we all move climate action forward. 

Comments

Submitted by Rick Fehlberg on

I remember, even clearer now 20yrs later, when I was studying Electrical Engineering at University doing Philosophy 101. We were the first year that had philosophy added to the course with the intention to opening the eyes of potential engineers to a frame of reference for the decisions we may one day make as engineers.

The topics I remember were:
• Value judgments, how our personal values influence what's right
• The energy crisis - over reliance of fossil fuels
• Global warming, The Greenhouse effect, man-made CO2 emissions
I very much enjoyed the Value judgments topic. Why do we make bridges only 2.5 times stronger than their maximum loading? What makes your decisions and values more important than others? Does it take into account the potential of natural disasters? Excellent stuff!
The Energy Crisis topic didn’t make as much sense to me. So many loaded learnings. We weren’t philosophizing, we were being brain washed. I could understand that fossil fuel is a finite resource but I also knew, at the same time I was being brain washed, the constant discovery of more and larger deposits that technology was helping us find were being discovered. We were being told to use Nuclear energy, solar, wind, tidal, etc. etc. This only had me think, what is the environmental cost of those resources? Why aren’t we discussing those in philosophy rather than being brain washed? I was sure, even without evidence, the environmental cost of making solar panels was likely to be expensive. Not only were fossil fuels required to make them but how much processing and environmental damage? I knew we weren’t being encouraged to think, but to agree. Anyway, so what if I don’t agree?
Then the topic of Global Warming. I can’t tell you why, it must have been instinct but the whole topic did not sit right with me. Maybe because it was so accusational? It was our fault! And therefore it was our responsibility to fix it. Nope! I didn’t have anything to do with our current position at 20yrs of age. I knew it wasn’t me, and I was feeling uncomfortable about the whole delivery of this brain washing. I immediately agreed, we probably should stop polluting the planet and reduce our use of fossil fuels but the rest was rubbish.
I was not happy and there was a lack of scientific evidence. And then, the evidence that was produced? Well it was a chart of the earth’s temperature related to the suns radiation. I don’t have a copy any longer, all these years later and I can’t find it online. What I saw, at least in my mind was a direct correlation between the suns output compared to the earth’s temperature. It was as clear as day for me. I wanted to find evidence to support my gut feeling and the only piece of evidence that seemed to matter, but there was none. Keep in mind the internet wasn’t what it is today. The best thing about the internet at that moment in time was the release of Netscape, so I got to see boobs on the computer. Yes indeed, remember the very first steps into the World Wide Web? I do.
Needless to say, I failed philosophy. I would not spew their lies. I still say, I have never learned more than I did when I failed philosophy.
All these years later I have found a growing movement of educated and intelligent people who share my suspicion towards the global warming lie. Ok, I better clarify that comment. The lie that global warming is due to man-made CO2 emissions.
I encourage everyone to research this for themselves. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I refer you to a community I am involved with SuspiciousObservers.
Here is Ben’s latest conference which is a great start and overview. Watch this if nothing else. Ben Davidson: The Variable Sun and Its Effects on Earth | EU2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MvAnECkaME&index=7&list=WL
Their website contains a wide variety of brilliant information including:
• Starwater – water comes from stars and every planet has water
• C(lie)mate – the global warming lie
• Agenda 21
Check out the daily SO news on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/Suspicious0bservers
See weather presented from a space perspective.
It’s bigger than you think.
Rikdownunda

Submitted by Nikhil on

Mr. Fehlberg:

From someone else who remembers the Netscape days and the beginnings of climate politics, some unsolicited and hence likely useless advice:

a. Skepticism is fine, but it does not necessarily follow that people who disagree with you are liars.

b. Just because you might have been told that you - or your siblings, parents - were likely "responsible", for anything, does not mean that you were brain-washed. Nobody can wash your brain without your permission.

c. We all make value judgments constantly, often unawares, and generally have the human frailty of trying to get others to share those judgments by persuasion, force, incentives, or deception. Any intelligent modeler recognizes the value judgments s/he incorporates but few can predict the impact on others' perception, because that might often depend on some other model.

Submitted by Fraser Brown on

Well said, I have recently joined the carbon warrior army myself! Fraser

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