Businesses must rip up and re-write carbon reduction strategies in wake of flawed avoidance projects
Investigations reveal a startling proportion of carbon avoidance projects have exaggerated climate impact
Businesses must seize the moment to reset strategies and fully realize carbon reduction opportunities
UK utilities could save £300 million in carbon credits by 2035 by dedicating 10% of owned land to carbon reduction
San Jose, July, 2023 — Recent analysis of some of the world’s largest carbon avoidance projects, from which numerous major corporations purchase offsetting credits, has found the majority are exaggerating climate impact.
Reports in January from The Guardian suggest that more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets overstate the threat of deforestation, while Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that supply of global “avoided deforestation” credits had decreased by a third between 2021 and 2022 under the weight of intensified public scrutiny.
Exaggerated claims are just one of the flaws of the carbon avoidance approach. The lack of transparency and uniformity in methodologies used in avoidance projects causes purchasers problems when it comes to reporting. Above all, the reliance on a third party means purchasers have no direct operational control over how their carbon offsetting is being achieved.
This means businesses cannot fully trust carbon credits based on avoidance to meet their emissions targets. Furthermore, it is expected that the cost of carbon credits will soar by as much as 3000% by 2029 in the wake of tighter legislation on carbon emissions reductions. These problems highlight the necessity for businesses to explore other options.
The time is ripe for businesses to reset climate strategies and seize the chance to concentrate on carbon reduction. The best first step is for businesses to use their own land for carbon capture, according to AiDash, a leading provider of sustainability solutions, vegetation management and other satellite- and AI-powered operations.
Land-owning corporates can make significant savings, and enhance impact, by transforming landholdings into carbon reduction projects before turning to credits. If, for example, UK utilities dedicated 10% of the land they owned to this purpose, they could save up to £300 million by 2035 in carbon credit expenses.
“The only way to be certain of reducing emissions is to actively remove carbon from the atmosphere through capture and sequestration projects,” says Shashin Mishra, Vice-President of EMEA at AiDash. “Many businesses are unaware of the enormous potential to use their own land for carbon reduction projects. Advances in satellite imagery and AI models mean that businesses no longer need to invest in carbon reduction projects managed by third parties but can use tools like AiDash’s Intelligent Sustainability Management System (ISMS) to operate their own carbon reduction projects internally.
“Many businesses will need to employ carbon reduction credits in some form to reach their climate ambitions,” Mishra adds. “However, it would require all the agricultural land currently used to produce the world’s food to remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere – that’s 50% of the world’s habitable land – so businesses cannot afford to depend on these alone for their decarbonisation strategies.”
AiDash is an AI-first vertical SaaS company on a mission to transform operations, maintenance, and sustainability in industries with geographically distributed assets by using satellites and AI at scale. With access to a continual, near real-time stream of critical data, utilities, energy, mining, and other core industries can make more informed decisions and build optimized long-term plans, all while reducing costs, improving reliability, and achieving sustainability goals. To learn more about how AiDash is helping core industries become more resilient, efficient, and sustainable, visit www.aidash.com.