by Staff Reporter on 28/11/11 at 9:07 am
COP17 launches this morning. If you don’t know what it is, you’ve been hiding your head in the sand. COP17 is the The 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol.
Challenges to South African business
Fabian Le Gay Brereton, the Australian founder of Greensense, has this advice: “There are three challenges for a small green business who would like to create carbon offsets from their activities.”
Challenge #1. Legitimate
There are some guiding principles that need to be followed, including:
- The reductions should be Additional to “business as usual”
- The reductions should be Measurable using an accepted methodology
- The reductions should be Permanent and unlikely to be reversed
Challenge #2. Certified
To be valued, even voluntary offsets probably need to be externally certified and managed by an external registry. If you are only generating a small number of offsets, this might not be economical.
Challenge #3. Legal
Different countries have different legal frameworks that govern offsets. For example, Australia has the ‘National Carbon Offset Standard’ and the ‘Carbon Farming Initiative’ (which isn’t just about farming).
What can YOU do to overcome these challenges?
There are several options you can take (besides doing the small basics right, like recycling). The first step, and the most vital one for now, is to research the issue. Check out the COP17 website to get your head around the topic. Our advice is to call upon a specialist environmental agency based in SA, one that is well versed with the unique environmental scenarios we have in South Africa, and ask for a consultant to come in and chat to your team. Do a Google search for your area to see who is close and weigh up your options.
Ideate is one of South Africa's biggest business blogs, with a team of authors all of whom have had entrepreneurial experience. Ideate is read by entrepreneurs thinking BIG. Follow us on Twitter here. View more articles by Staff Reporter.
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