It is surprising, but when donations are added together they make a significant difference. In most western countries the average person produces between 5 and 10 tonnes of carbon each year, with the global average being 4.8 tonnes (source: https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions). Most projects offset at a rate of between $7 and $15 per tonne. This means that a contribution of between $35 and $75 a year, or $3-6 per month will offset the impact of a global citizen. We select our projects on the basis of their offset impact, coupled with any benefits they provide to a local community such as job creation, health improvement or gender equality.
With our implementing partner we guarantee that 90% of all net donations received go directly into the climate projects. The remaining 10% is spent on selecting the projects, managing the projects, overseeing and monitoring their success and operating our team of climate changers who work to make sure your money makes the most difference possible.
We created Climate Wise to make a difference. Yes, we can all raise awareness and implement personal lifestyle changes, but we cannot offset ourselves entirely. By coming together we can make meaningful and permanent change happen as a mass of individuals and businesses. Climate Wise provides you the chance to be part of this community.
Yes! It will take a lot of people, but we are moving in the right direction. If everyone does a little bit, we can make the change.
Climate Wise is selecting the best way to make the most change in the shortest possible time. In the UK, we are currently a Community Interest Company (CIC) with a charity application pending. To get the ball rolling, we chose the CIC route which has enhanced reporting and can be converted into a charity. We are seeking the quickest route to be ‘live’ in each location around the world and setting up the most appropriate legal structure in each location. We operate with transparency with respect to our programmes, projects supported, and difference made and do this via the e-reporting and quarterly reports. At Climate Wise we have committed that 90% of all net donations received goes to the projects and you will receive regular communications on the projects your money is assisting and the difference it is making.
By working with companies that are certified, we gain evidence of the amount of tonnes offset for each of the projects we invest in. We can therefore also compute the tonnes offset for each donation amount.
The increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the biggest cause of global warming – impacting safety, health, food and global stability. We all contribute via travel, heating, driving and even eating and wearing clothes. We can change our lifestyles to reduce the impact, but it is still there. Climate Wise takes what is left of your ‘footprint’ and allows you to wipe it clean through projects which reduce pollution going into the atmosphere and take it out.
We all create a footprint; carbon offsetting empowers individuals to invest in projects that help reduce carbon creation elsewhere. Offsetting your footprint reduces emissions faster than an individual or a company currently can. These projects help combat global climate change, care for local communities, provide much needed employment, health improvements and social benefits to impoverished communities
Greenwashing is a broad-brush term applied to companies as a shortcut to offsetting their footprint without trying to change their practises. Without a doubt this does happen in some cases, however, that should not stop individuals and companies from trying to offset their footprint whilst at the same time trying to introduce technology and best practise to minimise their footprints.
We should remember that some industries will find this easier to do than others, due to current technological limitations. Change takes time, there are no shortcuts and no magic bullets to combating climate change. We have to use all the tools appropriate to us to minimise its impact. Critics will often say that the projects supported would happen anyway, there is no evidence to suggest this is true. Without outside investment a lot of these projects would never get off the ground or would take far longer to get off the ground.
Random tree planting without proper consideration to the nature of the environment and consequences of the tree planting can and has led to issues, from lack of biodiversity in the environment to altering the existing environment, for example tree planting has detrimental effects associated with peat bog environments.
As with most things there is a balance to be struck, trees have tremendous potential to act as a carbon sink, a place to store the excess carbon that human activity has pumped into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution. However, trees are also dark compared to other things blanket the land. As a result, planting more trees typically makes the land darker. Since dark surfaces absorb more heat, a dark tree-covered surface will trap more of the Sun’s heat – and warm the local climate.
As a result, there is a delicate balance between trees’ ability to take in CO2, reducing warming, and their tendency to trap additional heat and thus create warming. This means planting trees only helps stop climate change in certain places.
Specifically, according to a 2007 study that has been repeatedly confirmed, the best place to plant new trees is the tropics, where trees grow fastest and thus trap the most CO2. In contrast, planting trees in snowy regions near the poles is likely to cause net warming,
As always sweeping statements rarely reflect the true nature of things. Tree planting can help if conducted appropriately and in the right places, also let’s not forget that in many places we are replanting trees that used to be there before human activity destroyed them.
Absolutely, we would encourage individuals to support projects, whether it be one of the ones we are currently supporting or some other such project. We give people the opportunity to do so with Climate Wise and we can aggregate donations, select projects and then monitor their impact so there is control and oversight which often as a direct donor you cannot do. Climate Wise also provides a lot of other benefits outlined below.
The key is to motivate people to try and make a difference, but as previously mentioned their barriers to this happening on the scale that would truly make an impact, I refer to Richard Gifford’s Dragons of Inaction, three of these Dragons I believe are relevant here:
- Pessimism about Self Efficacy – as described above
- Social norming – we as individuals are influenced by what those around us do. By working as a conglomerate, we become more effective in influencing those around us to make a difference, which then goes some way to counteracting people pessimism about their own self efficacy
- Token behaviour – people will quite often make one of choices e.g. a one-off donation or they will reduce their plastic intake for a week, however it is difficult to maintain this on your own. Belonging to a group or an organisation encourages us to adopt long term behavioural changes. In effect we are in this together.
Finally, our role is not just to support projects, that already exist, but to provide the following as well:
- Educational opportunities for schools, communities, companies and individuals that encourage people to make better informed decisions on their lifestyle choices and to empower the next generation to have a voice.
- Create new eco-friendly starter projects around the world that meet the following criteria, reduce the CO2 footprint or capture CO2, improve health, provide jobs and improve the social structure of the local environment, for example empowering equal rights for all members of society etc
- Oversight and governance – by working hard on project selection, regularly reviewing the projects in place and assessing on a quarterly basis their performance, Climate Wise can complete the review of the projects which often individuals are unable to do and by benefitting from this, you can be comfortable your donations are being deployed in the best possible manner.
There is an overwhelming choice, although not all are focussed on supporting new projects and providing education. Lots are articles on climate change, carbon offsetting or companies highlighting how they are trying to achieve a carbon neutral footprint.
At Climate-Wise we do not mind who you support as long as it has a positive impact on reducing the amount of CO2 that is pumped into the atmosphere each year or provides a solution for removing the excess CO2 out of the atmosphere.
In starting up Climate Wise we tried to address the same questions, how can we be sure that we are supporting the right projects. In the end we focussed on validity, in other we only support projects that meet the following criteria:
- UN created and supported projects
- Projects that meet the Gold Standard Validation
- Companies that have a track record of taking on governments and or companies that have led to legislative change
In meeting these criteria, there is a documented evidence trail through legal and governmental audits that provide validity, or by using a renowned independent validator such as Gold Standard to provide assurance to the quality and reliability of the information and impact of these projects. Within our own organisation we provide audits on the donations received as well as information on the projects that these donations have gone towards.
Both points are valid, carbon will and can stay in the atmosphere for a long time. Also no one can guarantee the survival of trees in the future, any number of disasters both human and natural could lead to the destruction of planted trees. However, risks can be managed, and organisations will look to maintain their initiatives to the best of their ability going forward. Pressure from the public is slowly making governments identify more protected areas to try and maintain what they have left. So, whilst this is an issue on the public agenda, we believe there will be pressure from the public to ensure the success of such projects.
Our projects are not focussed on planting trees, currently rather we look to help sustain the current Rainforests, we also want a diverse portfolio, both in projects and geographically. This has been done intentionally to mitigate against both natural disasters and human made disasters, such as political instability. As mentioned, before it is important to use all the tools at your disposal contained in the toolbox, rather than just focussing on one to be the solution to all our problems.
We look to work with accredited projects through Gold Standard that independently verify the impact of the projects, or we work organisations and projects set up by the UN. Going forward with our own projects we look to have them independently verified by Gold Standard or another recognised body with credibility as an independent verifier. At Climate Wise we believe in reliability and credibility, to achieve this we need independent organisations to verify and guarantee the impact of the projects we support.
At Climate Wise we produce opinion pieces and blogs on the changes that we as individuals can make to our lives. Our intention is to constantly share advice and information to allow people to make informed decisions on their lifestyle choices.
However, we do not want this to only come from us and therefore, we invite people from around the world to provide us with ideas which we will load onto our educational pages and Noah and Bookie’s corner. It is better to have millions of people providing solutions which we are happy to share with the world, rather than working in a silo pretending to have all the answers.
In combatting climate change, we are all on a journey and we can all learn and getter better as we share practice.