Reducing the carbon footprint of trade by sea

While proportionally a small percentage of human emissions, the emissions of seafaring trade currently amounts to roughly 2% of our emissions.

The thing is, that with the huge advances in wind technology it would be possible to save a great deal of money and emissions.

A recent test of a ship kite, was found to save 10-15% (the creater of one of these systems suggested saving of 20% or more) of the fuel per day, a saving of $1000-1500 – which is quite something. While the kite systems currently cost a million or so, this will still be paid of in a couple of years. Furthermore this price is likely to fall as the technology becomes more mainstream.

Cargo ship being pulled by a kite photo by Yves Parlier click for licence details

British Banks have funded more than 800 million tonnes of carbon production a year

Alarmingly this quantity is twice the amount that the UK emitted in the same year, indeed British banking would be the 9th highest emitter in the world.

In this day and age it is not good enough to merely be environmentally conscious yourself. Many of these products would not been able to take place without funding from the UK.

These banks must change their policies. For one it is severely damaging the worlds, however even if the banks are not interested in whether they are damaging the world, these Investments are clearly poor, as they will have to stop being used long before they make their money back.

The British public must take action. If banks and companies that are investing in in industries that are emitting large quantities of carbon, they are destroying our future. We must take action by defending them completely so that they either change their behaviour or go out of business.

I encourage you, to look into your banks behaviour, and move your money if they are not acting in the planets best interest – make sure they know why you are moving.

Contradiction of wildlife tourism – do not kill the wild natural world while cutting your emissions

The world has an unfortunate problem. In many parts of the world we are successfully reducing our carbon footprint dramatically, through cleaning our electricity generation among other improvements.

Unfortunately, in our current setup, often the only way to pay for conserving the wild places on our planet is by visiting them, and for most people, this requires long-distance flights.

Something we must avoid in more wealthy countries is to simply halt all tourism to wild places. If in order to cut a few tons of carbon from our personal emissions, we remove the reason to conserve a large rainforest in Africa or Asia, can we really blame the locals when it gets cut down? In theory, money does indeed get sent to some of these countries to pay for offsetting our emissions. Unfortunately this rarely reaches people on the ground.

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It seems climate successes don’t last: vast peatland to be destroyed for oil below in the Congo basin. Important habitat for forest elephants and gorillas

Back at the beginning of 2017 a vast peatland was discovered deep in the Congo Basin. Storing an astounding amount of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 3 years of world carbon emissions, covered by primary rainforest that was completely undisturbed with large populations to the forest elephants and gorillas this was a real success story. Despite storing so much carbon is there only accounts for 4% of the Congo Basin

Remote Congo peatland swamp to be deforested

Fast forward 3 years, and there is a new and less encouraging story in the Press. Intention is to drain portions of this area so as to be able to drill through it and access the oil underneath. While this would not release carbon emissions equivalent to the world’s population it would be equivalent to Japan’s entire CO2 emissions.

It is thought that this peatland bog sits over 395 million barrels of oil.

While it is frustrating that this country is going back on on agreements it made, it really is in trouble. As with many countries in Africa it has borrowed much money from the rest of the world during various catastrophes, this amount of oil with completely change the country’s finances. 

Congo brazzaville president Denis Sassou-Nguess said that the work would not destroy the forest all the majority of the peatland and as the oil reserves lie on the edge of this vast area ( this area is an equivalent size to England). However analysis done on reports from their country re done by their own scientists estimate at the area that would need to be drilled which store release more than 1 gigaton.

There is also arguments as to how much all there really is there. After initial surveys were done both Total and Shell rejected the offer to be involved in extracting the oil. An expert from Shell argued that there was nowhere near as much oil as the government was claiming and that therefore for the risk reward balance was not good enough to be worth continuing. With all this risk it is highly unlikely that any Western Business or bank would be willing to invest, unfortunately there are substantial numbers of banks in places such as China who do not worry about the same things. Time will tell if sense prevails in this issue. 

Perhaps this country could agree to set aside twice as much land lost in this reserve elsewhere in the country? There are many unprotected areas of pristine rain forest in this country. If the country where to do something like this they could reassure the global community that they take conservation seriously while at the same time developing this oil field.

The individual footprint people in Britain reach the annual carbon footprint of the people from Rwanda and Burundi in as little as two weeks

There are 7 countries in Africa whose citizens emit less CO2 in a year hear them Britons will have done by the 14th of January. By the end of January this has risen significantly, and the average uk citizen will have emitted more CO2 than people living in the majority of the countries in africa

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