Climate change is a critical issue affecting our world today. On April 22nd 2016, ”Earth Day”, a global event dedicated to environmental protection, was also historic, as global leaders from 175 governments met at the UN headquarters in New York, to begin signing the Paris Climate Agreement. This event marks the first step towards binding countries to the promises they made to cut greenhouse gas emissions just 4 months earlier at the Paris COP21. “The era of consumption without consequences is over,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “We must intensify efforts to decarbonize our economies. And we must support developing countries in making this transition.”
The Paris Climate Deal’s main objective is to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Any rise past 1.5°C marks the point of no return and will have drastic effects on the world’s climate. The Paris deal intends to achieve long-term global goals for net zero emissions and countries have promised to try to bring global emissions down from peak levels. Experts say that with these pledges we can reach net zero emissions by 2050.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry applauded the power of the agreement to “unleash the private sector” and send a signal to global markets that renewable energy and infrastructure are smart investments. Later, when officially signing the agreement, Kerry brought his granddaughter with him to the stage — a representational move no doubt meant to remind everyone that climate change is not only a reality for us today but a necessity for tomorrow.
Climate change is already having a significant impact on the world. A recent report was released that stated that one of the Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef, has experienced unprecedented coral bleaching that affects 93% of the reef, and caused by the rising water temperatures. In Zambia we are experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent memory. The Kariba Dam, which produces power for most of the country, is at its lowest in years, and has led to rolling blackouts affecting the entire country. Additionally, rural farmers, whose livelihood depends on the seasons, have experienced difficulty in growing stable crops to feed their families.
Against the backdrop of the New York Climate Agreement signing, BCP wanted to share that as a Company we are 100% carbon neutral, as we feel it`s essential to be leading by example, and walking the walk. We’re excited about the fact that all our electricity use is now from renewable sources. Zambia’s electricity grid is primarily hydropower, and four of our five offices are now equipped with solar arrays as back up systems. Our fifth office in Nyimba is soon to be solar equipped. An additional step to reduce our carbon footprint is that we are disposing of older vehicles and have procured a fleet of newer, more efficient vehicles. For BCP’s unavoidable emissions we are carbon neutral from the voluntary retirement of forest carbon offsets from the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project which we implement. These offsets were retired permanently from circulation with assistance from project partner, BioCarbon Group. As an African Company, we hope more American and European companies will join our example of investing in renewables, more efficient vehicles and forest carbon offsets for unavoidable emissions.
For more information on how you can purchase Forest Carbon Offsets through our Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project visit the Stand For Trees website, or contact our Sales, Marketing, and Communications Manager, Andrea McWilliam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The content of this blog are the sole responsibility of BCP and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.