The emergence of carbon offset, as well as credit systems, is one topic that is sure to split environmentalists. They are a nasty word for some campaigners. They claim that such schemes are only a glorified “get out of jail card” enabling polluting nations or firms to continue doing business as usual rather than taking a more serious commitment to sustainability.
Others adopt a more pragmatic approach, emphasizing the financial assistance they can provide to developing countries around the world to safeguard forests, wetlands, and communities. Regardless of which side of the debate you are on, one thing is certain: carbon markets will be an enormous business.
Countries will be allowed to partially fulfill their climate commitments by purchasing offset credits, thanks to negotiators’ recent agreement at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow to define stricter regulations for carbon markets and incorporate them in Article 6 of Paris Rulebook.
According to Elena Belleti, who is a research director at the Wood Mackenzie firm, the market’s worth might rise from $1 billion in the year 2021 to over $200 billion in the year 2050 as a result of the COP26 inclusion. “Price volatility will persist in the near term,” Ms. Belleti noted. “However, by 2030, demand for the high-quality credits might drive prices up by more than tenfold, allowing substantial carbon reduction to be financed.”
However, many individuals are still wary of the rising business. “Clever accounting and overstated claims by carbon off-setters may fool us as customers, but you can’t fool the atmosphere,” stated Jim Elliott, who works as a senior policy adviser at the Green Alliance firm.
“Unless carbon removal credits are correctly measured, genuinely additional, and used just once, they will make little difference in keeping the global heating under 1.5 degrees, and may even exacerbate climate change.”
The biggest challenge for the carbon offset industry is ensuring that their products are more transparent and that any successes are correctly and honestly quantified. What is the best way to accomplish this? As far-fetched as it may seem, the answer could be found in space.
Or, to be more precise, it lies with the numerous satellites that orbit the Earth. They can keep an eye on what’s going on on the ground and utilize artificial intelligence to track how things are progressing.
The “competition today for high-quality nature-based projects,” according to Ariella Charny, CMO of the Albo Climate firm, which analyzes satellite imagery to track carbon sequestration on the ground.
“Because monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) have been preventing this crucial sector from scaling, we’re developing next-generation, AI-powered technology to provide accessibility and transparency for the carbon credit verification around the world.”