One month after this year’s climate COP, we are still reflecting on what we learned during those weeks in Sharm El-Sheikh. While intense and debatable negotiations were happening during long days at the COP27, uplifting and hopeful encounters were happening outside of the “Blue Zone”.
The Blue Zone is the UN-managed zone, which year after year, since 1995, hosts the negotiations from the almost 200 countries signatories of the UNFCCC. But everywhere else outside of this zone you can find stimulating events, conferences, and panels about climate solutions, climate activism, and climate science and technology from different sectors of society. And people! Wonderful people from around the world who, like we, are ready to join efforts to fight climate change.
This year at COP27, we hosted an event at the Climate Action Hub and a week-long booth at the Climate Action Innovation Zone. Here we want to share with you the top three takeaways from our time in Egypt, which have left us filled with hope and motivation to continue working towards our mission of supplying the world with high-quality carbon dioxide removals (CDR) by connecting tree growers to the carbon market. We hope this motivates you too!
You can watch our Climate Action Hub event here.
Last year, for COP26, members of the TREEO team joined as attendees in Glasgow. If there is one thing we would like to highlight and contrast is the level of participation from people from the Global South this year at COP27 in Egypt. Geography is definitely a factor, as are language and money. It is in all of our interest as citizens to hold spaces that more people can access, and to listen to those who have been historically left out of these conversations. In just these two weeks, we were able to exchange ideas with people from over 20 different countries from Africa, Latin America and Oceania.
We are proud that this is a core value at TREEO. One of the most important things we do in this regard is listening and learning from our colleagues and partners from Global South countries. It is our mission to give tree growers worldwide access to the carbon market through the TREEO Technology.
At COP27 we realized there are many people eager and ready to contribute to reforestation. But skepticism is, understandably, high. One of the main challenges when it comes to carbon dioxide removals as a mitigation tool to combat climate change is being able to quantify and prove that we are, in fact, absorbing additional CO2 from our atmosphere, and in a durable way. This difficulty has made the last decades see a fair share of greenwashing through fantastic claims that are difficult to back up. This is one of the challenges we tackle at TREEO through our single-tree monitoring technology.
Transparency is at the core of who we are and what we do. From tree growers to our balancers (companies committed to a net-zero future), the TREEO technology provides the tools that allow farmers to track CO2 absorption by tree species via the TREEO App while they get fairly compensated for their work. The data is then verified via satellite imagery analysis, and our stakeholders have access to this data through the TREEO Cloud and TREEO Impact Dashboard.
At the end of the day, COP27 outcomes focus a lot more on climate change consequences, as can be perceived from the “Loss and Damage Fund”, than on the underlying causes of climate change. We agree that this fund is necessary and long overdue, but it is not the only thing that must be done. This fund tackles very important and worrying effects that most of the world is already going through, but unless we continue to tackle the amount of GHGs in our atmosphere, these injustices that marginalized people are facing will only get worse.
Therefore, we are more convinced than ever that climate action cannot wait for governments to make these decisions for us year after year. We must take action into our own hands to keep addressing the underlying causes through climate mitigation. For example, through CDR with direct involvement of tree growers in the Global South.
During our week at the Climate Action Innovation Zone, we met tree growers and entrepreneurs from around the world who shared with us their experiences and goals. Lots of motivated people convinced that we all can have an impact. Although on a political level the so-called “COP of implementation” has not lived up to its expectations, the momentum from all other sectors of society is a very encouraging one and we are proud to be a part of this.
The private sector needs to be involved and aim to make reforestation more profitable than deforestation, particularly for those who have long been excluded from these options. We are taking steps in the right direction and at TREEO we will continue with our work to remove CO2 from our atmosphere while empowering tree-growing entrepreneurs worldwide.
If you’d like to remove CO2 from our atmosphere too and be able to clearly show your impact, join TREEO as a balancer today!