Global warming has become a serious threat, which not only changes ecosystems worldwide, but will also affect how multinational companies perform in the long-term. Zintro experts define viable solutions to cope with this progressive climate change.
Silvia Lac, an expert in research and technology development for climate change and forestry, gives great importance to having an adaptation strategy for this ongoing climate change. “A literature review is done to the IPCC and UNFCCC documents for trends in climate predictions and impacts to the area of interest, revealing relevant information to the economic sectors, which are at greater risks and the political boundaries of interest. With trends known, predictions from Climate Change Models are downscaled to variables and area of interest according to the IPCC guidelines,” she explains. “Parameters of interest are monitored in strategic locations and when a minimum threshold is reached, there is a municipal plan in place to deal with all possible scenarios/situations and the public is fully aware. For example, if water levels minimum thresholds are recorded in municipal reservoirs, then water cuts will be made according to what is planned.” Nonetheless, Lac draws attention to the fact that there are enough greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to cause changes regardless of the rate we can remove them. “Mitigation is essential now to decrease the rapid velocity, which temperature has increased and continues to do so and it is proving to be beyond natural ecosystems resilience or adaptation capacity. And we also do know that few tools are available to do that, and therefore reducing emissions by reducing deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is furthermost important at this point in time to make possible for biomes and forest ecosystems to adapt and continue to function well and continue to provide the many ecosystem services we greatly benefit from,” she adds.
Environmental engineer, Arjuna Perera, predicts our rate of consumption of energy, especially the prior sequestered carbon release, to significantly exceed the real-time sequestration function of forestry, which is the only emissions neutralization system. “The only option is to go for engineered forestry ecologists such as SEPAES, which uses a forestry permaculture, which when harvested not destroying the stand, generates green energy, food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and some industrial raw materials. These products then cascade down a series of nested industrial ecologies where much of the emissions are also raw material input for another industry within the cascade, mimicking the pertaining functions of certain forestry ecologies,” he notes. “Large corporations such as Wal-Mart, General Electric, PricewaterhouseCoopers and L’Oréal etc. should be encouraged to invest for profit in such systems, as opposed to the current system where investment in to green mechanisms is more or less obligatory and a cost, often a penalty.” Moreover, Perera believes that this system will also create social benefits in several areas including poverty elevation, rural infrastructure building and women’s empowerment, which is why he expects governments to use their resources to make improvements in these particular areas. “Governments should facilitate the implementation of SEPAES and such engineered forestry ecologies by provision of its land and supportive infrastructure and the corporate sector should invest in to its establishment,” he adds.
As Robert Dornau, an expert in sustainability and carbon markets, indicates, taking any action against carbon emissions won’t be a high priority for governments in the near future. “The carbon market is currently in a transition stage. There is a clear separation of cap and trade and project mechanisms in particular the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). It is very unlikely that governments will commit to much stronger emission reductions in the medium term; up to 2015,” he says. “This lack of demand for credits will drive many project developers and investorsout of the market. Unfortunately this will mean a loss of trust and brain power in this market.” Dornau offers an alternative to the current CDM model in order to overcome this problem. “The New Market Mechanisms (NMMs) that are currently under discussion have to be and likely will be very different from the current CDM model, which is supply only. NMMs will also need to create a new demand and that demand also has to be in developing countries. This means new opportunities for companies, but very different from the current CDM model,” he adds.
By Idil Kan
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