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Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

May 24, 2024

Carbon offsetting as an important climate strategy

The Earth’s temperature continues to rise year by year. The glaring evidence of climate change affects us all that it has impossible to ignore. And as stewards of the planet, it is inevitable that each and every one of us does his/her part in solving the climate crisis. It cannot be business as usual. 

 

Governments have set out plans and programs to achieve net-zero emissions, the private sector, local communities, and every individual are expected to support these. We must all take a conscious effort to shift into a low carbon lifestyle so that at a personal level we are able to reduce our carbon footprint, thereby minimizing the impact of human activities on the climate.

 

However, a change in lifestyle — like changes in industry practices and processes — cannot be abrupt. There are areas where we cannot make that sudden shift. This is where carbon offsetting can help.

 

Carbon offsetting generally means reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or increasing carbon storages, such as through reforestation and land restoration, to compensate for emissions that occur elsewhere. 

 

The aviation industry is one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize. For instance, it is estimated that, on average, flying from Manila to Caticlan generates about 53 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) per passenger. This estimation is only based on the CO2 generated by burning jet fuel.

 

However, in this day and age, flying has become inevitable especially if we need to travel from one island or one country to another.

 

To balance out our carbon footprint from flying, we try to compensate through carbon offsetting schemes, like supporting or investing in environmental projects around the world.

 

Carbon offset projects may involve renewable energy development; the capture and destruction of high-potency GHGs like methane, nitrous oxide (N2O) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); or preventing deforestation. Such programs can also produce far-reaching effects on the communities, including community employment opportunities, enhanced air or water quality, improved energy access, and biodiversity and habitat conservation.

 

I am certain that, given the opportunity and right tools, we will all be willing to contribute to reducing our carbon footprint not only through personal lifestyle changes but also on a wider scale by supporting carbon offsetting programs.

 

At Build Initiative, we aim to bridge this gap between individuals and businesses eager to offset their carbon footprint and the grassroots environmental projects that are vital for our planet’s health.

 

One of our projects, GreenMatch, uses advanced AI to offer personalized plans for impactful actions against climate change. It is a web and mobile platform that connects individuals and businesses with global, vetted environmental projects to effectively offset carbon footprints. 

 

Through the app, users can input their carbon offset goals along with personal or corporate values. Our AI analyzes this data to create tailored offset plans, suggesting projects that align with the user’s environmental impact goals and ethical preferences.

 

Utilizing sophisticated algorithms, GreenMatch pairs up users with the most suitable environmental projects. By considering factors such as project effectiveness, location, and the type of contribution, the app ensures that an individual’s efforts have the maximum possible impact.

 

It also allows users to track their impact and engage in a community of like-minded individuals and businesses committed to making a difference.

By bringing together individuals and organizations committed to take action towards climate mitigation and sustainability, we can maximize our impact and even encourage more people to step up their game as stewards of the Earth.

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