Bonn, 20 October 2015 - The Brazilian Embassy in London hosted a special event today to mark the launch of Climate Neutral Now, the UN-led initiative for increased voluntary climate action, which took place during New York Climate Week in September.
The London event discussed how individuals, companies and governments can contribute to a climate-neutral future by measuring their carbon footprints, reducing emissions where possible, and offsetting the rest with UN-certified emission reductions (CERs), while at the same time investing in sustainable development projects in developing countries. Keynote speakers included representatives from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Brazilian government and the private sector.
Participants at the event heard inspiring examples, such as the successful experiences of the Brazilian government in using CERs to offset carbon emissions from major events. A short film commissioned by the UN climate change secretariat on offsetting the 2014 World Cup’s carbon footprint was also screened. See below.
"In big events, the Brazilian Government first used CERs to neutralize carbon emissions from the Rio+20 Summit in 2012. In 2014, CERs were again used by Brazil to offset emissions from the FIFA World Cup," said the Ambassador of Brazil to the UK, Eduardo dos Santos. “This year, the carbon footprint of ‘Brazil Day 2015,’ which brought over 35,000 to Trafalgar Square to celebrate the one-year countdown to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Paralympics, is being offset using CERs, as will be the Olympics themselves.”
As well as action by governments, voluntary action by businesses and individuals is needed to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and to transition to climate neutrality by the second half of the 21st century.
The launch of Climate Neutral Now is timely, coming a few months before the international climate change conference in Paris in December, where a new, universal climate change agreement is to be reached.
“Climate change affects everyone, so the onus is on each individual to do something about it,” said John Kilani, Director of the Sustainable Development Mechanisms programme at the UNFCCC secretariat. “As major contributors of carbon emissions, businesses have an important role to play, and we welcome the support already pledged by a number of high profile companies, as well as numerous small and medium-sized enterprises and business associations.”
“In July, the GSMA announced that the 2015 Mobile World Congress was officially certified as carbon neutral, reaffirming its position as the world’s largest carbon neutral conference and exhibition,” said Ivan Ulitzka, Exhibition Operations Manager, GSMA Ltd. “The GSMA has a long-standing commitment to preserving the environment and we are continually focused on making Mobile World Congress, as well as our other events, environmentally sustainable. We are pleased to support the Climate Neutral Now initiative by the UNFCCC to address climate change.”
Climate Neutral Now features a new online platform which makes it easy for anyone to buy UN verified offsets, as well as contacts for businesses and organizations to get advice on how to go climate neutral.
The offsetting is done through the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a well-established and internationally recognized market-based mechanism that stimulates both sustainable development and emission reductions by channeling funding to emission reduction and avoidance projects in the developing world.
There are currently more than 7,900 CDM projects registered under the CDM in 107 developing countries, ranging from clean cook stoves in Africa to renewable energy in Nepal and tree planting Brazil.
The Climate Neutral Now initiative will be showcased as part of the special events taking place on the margins of the Paris climate change conference.
About Climate Neutral Now
Climate Neutral Now is part of the UNFCCC and is intended to help more individuals and organizations measure, reduce and offset their climate footprints.
For further information please contact:
David Abbass, Public Information Officer, UNFCCC at: CDM- Press@unfccc.int, +49 (0) 228-815-1511
Nick Nuttall, Coordinator, Communications and Outreach, UNFCCC at: NNuttall@unfccc.int, +49 (0) 228-815-1400
Photo credit: Krassotkin