The risky business of climate risk: ‘Stop predicting the future’

March 8, 2021 by  
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The risky business of climate risk: ‘Stop predicting the future’ Elsa Wenzel Mon, 03/08/2021 – 01:00 Blindsided by how COVID-19 quickly dominated the planet? You’re not alone. Fourteen months ago, the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risks Report neglected to include a pandemic among its major warnings for the year ahead. The crisis has exposed not only the lack of foresight but the lack of effectiveness in mainstream business risk management policies. Fewer than six out of 400 companies surveyed in 2020 legal filings said there was a potential pandemic problem, Rodney Irwin, managing director of redefining value at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, said during GreenBiz 21. That’s despite this being the second pandemic in 10 years, the fourth respiratory illness in 18 years, and numerous warnings from the World Health Organization, he added at the February virtual event. “Let’s stop predicting the future because we’ve proven we’re incapable of doing it,” Irwin said. “Instead of asking, as part of our risk determination process, how likely something is to happen, we ask a more cerebral question, which is, if it did happen, could we manage it? That’s a very different question.” Reframe as vulnerability Irwin looks back on 2020 with “somewhat rose-tinted glasses” because it has proven the need to take the relationship between nature and society seriously. And that leaves a tremendous opportunity to address ESG-related issues. The process of handling disrupted supply chains, shifts in demands and business models and modes of communication; governance and decision-making changes during leadership under lockdown. “It’s also made us realize that the consulting world’s obsession with reducing everything down to the bare minimum, agility and removing all slack from our systems, doesn’t give you any wiggle room when the chips are down,” Irwin added. “So it’s allowed us to reintroduce to the world of the business community this notion of what it means to be resilient, and not just to be agile.” If risk management is the responsibility of corporate boards of directors, they have plenty of reckoning to do in the coming months and years about the effectiveness of existing risk management procedures and policies. Gloria Santona, Of Counsel at Baker McKenzie in Chicago, detailed three related legal issues that businesses should note: disclosure; compliance; and litigation. Consider disclosure As for disclosure, investors expect more of it and at a more robust level, but they are also demanding goal-setting, with metrics and accountability. The U.S. government may mandate for more companies to open up, as signaled in February when Satyam Khanna became the first policy adviser for climate and ESG within the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Diversity and human capital management are also likely to come under more scrutiny legally and by stakeholders, Santona added. “The pandemic has raised a number of issues with respect to the way that people work, or the way that they’re treated when they’re ill,” she said. “Boards of directors are going to spend more time thinking about corporate culture than they have in the past and, as well, probably there’ll be more disclosure around that either in sustainability reporting or mandatory disclosure.” Consider compliance COVID-19 illuminated problems with complex supply chains, and Santona said she expects a rise in demand for transparency particularly around human rights, labor conditions and corruption, as well as biodiversity loss and water risks. Santona foresees the need for companies to talk with suppliers, even out to the third and fourth tiers, and to collaborate about climate change, identifying ways to harness renewable energy, reduce waste and streamline manufacturing and logistics. “At the end of the day, it’s really incumbent upon companies to scrutinize their compliance of their suppliers and align your suppliers with their own compliance practices,” she said, adding that mergers and acquisitions will force more companies into due diligence as their supply chain networks balloon. Balancing efficiency with resilience, as well as considering operational risk, are likely to become more of a focus, too. Consider litigation Santona brought up an ongoing debate to watch in the United States in cases involving ESG. The question is whether states can regulate and try cases having to do with climate change. “As lawyers, we’re concerned, because if there is no federal preemption, then there will be a multitude of litigation against the companies with respect to activities that they take that may be considered to be negative due to the climate change,” she said. The risks of not sharing Santona described the “siloing” of information within a corporation as the biggest impediment to risk management. “One of the things that we think about from a legal perspective is whether boards are properly organized in order to think about these risks, and whether there is a mechanism or a method to ensure that the board is actually hearing about all the risks it needs to hear about,” she said.  Santona noted the importance of auditing and the promise of emerging technologies, such as distributed ledgers and the blockchain, which can trace the material origins and points of contact within supply chains. Yet the most important factor is a senior management team that’s open to discussion across functions and geographies, especially for vast international operations. Without that, progress in one country or practice may not be matched by another elsewhere. “It’s a very much an ‘all hands on deck’ to get the best thinking together about how to manage these really complex problems,” Santona added. Bayer, for one, shows signs of moving toward such a direction. Its governance, risk management and ESG teams work together, and compensation for the board of management is tied directly to meeting sustainability goals. When bracing for future disruptions such as a pandemic, it’s important for companies to foster resilience within the communities it touches, said Gabriela Burian, global partnerships and multi-stakeholder platform lead at Bayer. “We were able to act fast because we have a plan for our resilience and engagement within our communities. But that being said, we really need to have a better plan for bigger impacts, and we are working on these.” In addition to its benchmark for 2030 to become carbon neutral, Bayer in January shared a goal to advance public health globally by boosting contraception access for 100 million women . The power of metaphor Bracing for big impacts organizationally may start with intimate conversations. Risk management is a human thing, Irwin noted. For example, you check the water temperature before you step into a shower, and click a seatbelt before you drive. But what happens when risk management comes into the workplace, and how does it translate to an organizational process? More than a decade ago, Irwin used a vulnerability management exercise called voyage mapping at courier company TNT (now part of FedEx). When the risk management team used metaphors to chart their journey, removing the barrier of language led to an outpouring of things people needed to say, he said. “But then you change the conversation and say, well, that’s the journey you’ve had, what is the one you want to have?” he said. “You’ve often heard the quote, ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.’ So look at 2020 at the gifts that it brought us — it has given us a vision of 20/20 to know that we have to change, so that risk management can be an area that you go back and have a rethink of. Bring it to the attention of the board because ultimately they are responsible for this.” Pull Quote It’s a very much an ‘all hands on deck’ to get the best thinking together about how to manage these really complex problems. Topics Risk & Resilience GreenBiz 21 COVID-19 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Illustration of the COVID-19 virus disrupting dominoes. Shutterstock eamesBot Close Authorship

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The risky business of climate risk: ‘Stop predicting the future’

Next-gen GMO entrepreneurs target consumers, not farmers

February 19, 2021 by  
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Next-gen GMO entrepreneurs target consumers, not farmers Jim Giles Fri, 02/19/2021 – 01:00 Want more great analysis of sustainable food systems? Sign up for Food Weekly , our free email newsletter. What does the future hold for genetically modified crops? This is a huge question in food and ag. It’s not one that will be answered quickly — new crops must emerge from the lab and clear regulatory hurdles before finding success, or not, in the marketplace. But a recent funding round provides an indication of what the 2020s might look like for this sector. To peer into this future, we have to start by looking back. The first generation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including herbicide-resistant soy and corn, continues to divide opinion: dominant on big U.S. farms, yet distrusted by many consumers. This dates back to the introduction of the crops in the 1990s, when critics portrayed GMOs as a risky technology with benefits that flowed only to big agricultural businesses. The entrepreneurs behind the second generation of GMOs are keen to avoid that outcome. That desire is clear in the pitch from Pairwise, a U.S. startup that earlier this month announced a $90 million funding round . To create the company’s first product, engineers took a mustard green and removed a gene that creates the plant’s signature pungency. Critically, the gene does not affect nutrition. The result is a green that combines the mild taste of lettuce with the nutritional benefits of the plant it’s derived from.  “We all know the healthier leafy green are things like kale and arugula, but we tend to eat romaine and iceberg,” Pairwise CEO Tom Adams told me. Pairwise’s new variety should hit stores in 2022, Adams said. Next in the company’s pipeline are blackberry plants engineered to lack seeds (to please consumers) or even thorns (to please pickers). Those are slated for a mid-2020s launch. By the end of the decade, the company hopes to be selling stone-free cherries.  During my chat with Adams, I was struck by how he repeatedly positioned his products as making fruits and vegetables more palatable to consumers, and the societal benefits that would flow from doing so. I don’t say this to question his motives — I’m highlighting it because it shows that, unlike in the past, future debates over the pros and cons of GMOs likely will center on these kinds of consumer benefits. If so, the crops could be much less controversial. In 2019, Calyxt, another U.S. gene-editing startup, launched a soybean engineered to have less saturated fat and more oleic acid, which results in a healthier oil for frying. Did the news pass you by? Perhaps because the benefits felt real, the launch wasn’t particularly controversial. In fact, late last year Calyxt announced that it would sell all of its current crop of gene-edited soybeans to food processing giant Archer Daniels Midland .  If gene-edited crops can find a smooth path to market, how might they be harnessed to make agriculture more sustainable? As a recent report noted , there are multiple possibilities, including rice varieties that emit less methane. The potential financial return on low-emission crops, however, is not as clear-cut, making this kind of research a lower priority for Pairwise, Calyxt and others. When it comes to gene-editing for sustainability, the leaders are not U.S. startups but the multiple government-funded teams leading China’s push to use gene editing to improve everything from wheat and rice to bananas and strawberries. China’s focus on the technology is one reason — admittedly among many — why the country’s government paid $43 billion for the agtech giant Syngenta in 2017. I thought of China’s work in this area when I read about the Biden administration’s plans to create a new climate tech agency dubbed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate, or ARPA-C. The project builds on ARPA-E, which focuses on energy. Yet advanced agtech is just as exciting and potentially impactful. Alongside gene editing, we would benefit from artificial intelligence systems for monitoring carbon sequestration in farmland and more efficient indoor growing environments. Maybe the administration also should create ARPA-Ag. Topics Food & Agriculture GMO Featured Column Foodstuff Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Pairwise is working on modified black and red raspberries, as well as blackberries, that lack seeds and thorns. Courtesy of Pairwise Close Authorship

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Next-gen GMO entrepreneurs target consumers, not farmers

New floating campus in Manhattan showcases vision of the future

December 21, 2020 by  
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What will the future look like? If it looks anything like the vision created by 3deluxe, the future designs will help preserve the land and sea . The WeThePlanet campus does just that and sets a new standard for the future of architecture. WeThePlanet, a New York -based organization, commissioned architecture firm 3deluxe to design a people-friendly campus in harmony with nature. The campus design protects life on the land and in the water, while still pushing the envelope of what modern design can be. The campus makes room for workshops, summits and educational programs that will focus on helping the planet thrive. Such programs plan to foster a better understanding of climate change , social justice and the issues that will shape humankind’s future. The idea behind 3deluxe’s design is the 50/50 concept, in which people and nature share equal spaces. This concept includes compensating for soil sealing, CO2 production and the use of materials and energy. In doing so, the design will create a better quality of life for people and honor nature. Built on a floating platform, the campus can resist floods . The floating platform will open partially to the public, providing space for tourists and local New Yorkers to enjoy the outdoors. The innovative floating design opens up all sorts of possibilities for floating parks and destinations all along the Manhattan shore. Floating marshland biotopes included in the design make up 50% of the entire surface area. This creates living space for foliage and animals. The design also includes space for a meadow and sand biotopes. Thatched and green roofs create more living space for animals. Construction will rely on natural materials like clay, wood and reeds and recycled materials . In addition to wind farms, photovoltaics, marine power plants and bioreactors, the design also integrates air-cleaning technology. The hope is that the campus will be totally self-sufficient, generating its own drinking water and electricity. + 3deluxe Images © 3deluxe

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New floating campus in Manhattan showcases vision of the future

Arplan envisions a new, green City Oasis for Latvia

November 25, 2020 by  
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The new City Oasis is a planned residential area in Riga, Latvia that has been designed for optimal efficiency. The project includes hundreds of homes in a highly functional district that is safe and green. City Oasis is expected to serve as an example of sustainable urban planning for the future. The plan was created by Arplan, an architectural firm based in Riga. It worked with B&R Progetti, architect Paolo Bodega and engineer Giussepie M. Rustignoli. The design won an architectural competition in 2011. It took 10 years to set a construction date for the project, which is officially expected to break ground in 2021. Related: SOM designs a low-carbon waterfront community for China’s “most livable city” The City Oasis is planned to sit next to a UNESCO World Heritage site. This made the development of the project challenging, as several approval processes had to be completed first. The building permits have now been issued and City Oasis is starting to look like a reality. Structural engineer Finmap Latvia worked on the project, using design technologies to create an optimal construction plan for City Oasis. “It will be an inclusive residential quarter, with well-thought-out planning and landscaping , aesthetic architecture, and high-quality materials for both the interiors and exteriors,” said Rolands Bruzgulis, founder and lead architect of Arplan. City Oasis is located on the site of a former textile factory that was founded in 1866. It was the largest factory of its kind in the Russian empire by 1913 and stayed in operation until 1989. While some of the old buildings onsite were destroyed, several historic elements were preserved, including a water tower and a locally famous chimney. These elements will be integrated into the masterplan. City Oasis will blend new buildings with preserved and restored historic buildings in a model that proves the past and the future can be blended together beautifully. The plan includes three buildings with six to seven stories each. Commercial space will be available on the ground floors. The new buildings will feature renovated, historic facades, which will maintain the character of the location. Several types of housing units will be available, including lofts and mezzanine-style apartments with their own private entrances. Premium apartments will be located in the restored, 19th-century villa. The residences’ heating and ventilation systems will recuperate residual heat to save energy . Developers also plan to preserve the site’s existing trees, some of which are more than 100 years old. A car-free zone will be included in the plan along with an underground parking area; a public courtyard will sit on top of the parking structure. City Oasis will be surrounded by schools, a public swimming pool, a large playground, a sports center and multiple cafes and restaurants. + Arplan Images via Yellow Stuudio

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Arplan envisions a new, green City Oasis for Latvia

3Degree’s Dave Meyer on the future of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in America

November 20, 2020 by  
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3Degree’s Dave Meyer on the future of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in America This video is sponsored by 3Degrees. “Transportation is the single largest contributor to GHG emissions in California, so if we are going to meet the targets generally that California has set, addressing these emissions from transportation is going to have to be a big part of that.”   Katie Fehrenbacher, Senior Analyst, Transportation, Greenbiz, interviewed Dave Meyer, Director, LCFS Programs, 3Degrees, during VERGE 20, which took place 10/26-10/30/20. View archived videos from the conference here: https://www.greenbiz.com/topics/verge-20-archive . YanniGuo Fri, 11/20/2020 – 11:24 Featured Off

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NOAA report shows climate change is killing Floridas coral reefs

November 20, 2020 by  
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A status report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) shows that overall, coral reefs in the U.S. are currently in fair condition, but these reefs are vulnerable to severe decline in the near future. This threat is the worst along the Florida coast, where few corals remain, and about 98% of the dead corals in this area were lost because of climate change. Prepared in collaboration with the Maryland Center for Environmental Science, the report provides a clear picture on the status of the country’s reefs. The report looks at the coral reefs along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and is the first of its kind to take a comprehensive look at major coral reefs in the U.S., including around the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and Hawaii. Researchers analyzed reef data collected between 2012 and 2018. Related: The Great Barrier Reef has lost 50% of its corals to climate change The main threats to the coral reefs in the U.S. include disease, fishing and ocean warming and acidification . NOAA officials say that although the corals are in a fair condition as a whole, their future looks dire. The state of ocean warming and acidification is on the rise in most coastal regions. At the same time, other threats, such as coral disease, are also worsening. To retain and revive the country’s corals, measures need to be put in place to curb the threats. Jennifer Koss, director of NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, said that the threats to coral reefs have increased due to climate change. “It used to be mostly water quality … but now it’s pretty well accepted that it’s predominantly climate change ,” Koss said. Coral reefs are biologically rich zones and account for about 25% of all marine life. They also help protect shorelines from hurricanes and storms. Reefs are even economically beneficial, because they are a rich source of fish and serve as vibrant tourist attractions. NOAA researchers have now expressed their concerns about the future of corals in the U.S. Following the report, experts are urging agencies, individuals and the federal government to take actions that will protect the remaining coral reefs before it’s too late. + NOAA Via The Guardian Image via NOAA

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How alt-protein companies Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats hope to reshape diets

November 9, 2020 by  
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How alt-protein companies Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats hope to reshape diets Holly Secon Mon, 11/09/2020 – 01:00 By 2050, nearly 10 billion people will be on the planet. That’s about 2 billion more hungry mouths to feed. Figuring out the best way to feed everyone so they receive enough nutritious food, while using the planet’s finite resources sustainably, is a growing challenge. Typically, as people’s incomes rise throughout the developing world, they consume more resource-intensive animal-based protein, as opposed to unrefined grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables. An alternative to that consumption could exist. Alternative proteins, that is. Alternative proteins, which have gained more mainstream attention in U.S. supermarkets and direct-to-consumer models during the COVID-19 pandemic, include both plant-based or food-technology (so-called “clean meat”) alternatives to animal protein. The alternatives replicate the look, mouthfeel and taste of meat, but have a lower sustainability impact, advocates claim.  At GreenBiz Group’s virtual clean economy conference VERGE 20 late last month, representatives from two of the biggest alternative protein companies, plant-based Impossible Foods and cell-based Memphis Meats, discussed the ways in which alternative proteins could do just that. From providing a buffer for supply chain shocks and price volatility that hit early during the pandemic while making sure consumers eat nutritious food, alternative proteins could make an impact.  Alternative proteins could provide a buffer for supply chain shocks and price volatility that hit early during the pandemic while serving consumers nutritious food. Each company has its own theory of change for full-scale market transformation. Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown is on the record saying that by 2035, he wants to eliminate the need for animal farming in and of itself. Meanwhile, Steve Myrick, vice president of operations at Memphis Meats, who spoke at VERGE 20, wants to “augment, not disrupt” the mix of food production methods in the next five to 10 years. Impossible Burger wants to eliminate the need for animal agriculture Impossible Foods has been one of the most hyped-up alternative protein companies, and one of the most successful. Impossible makes a plant-based burger designed to maintain a realistic taste and mouthfeel to beef, primarily using a soy-based version of the protein found in meat called “heme” plus oils and other ingredients. The company also offers plant-based pork and sausages. The products are sold in higher-end restaurants around the world, and recently entered grocery stores as well. Rebekah Moses, head of impact strategy at Impossible Foods, said during VERGE 20 that the key to Impossible Foods’ goal of replacing animal agriculture is “exponential growth.” “What we’re trying to do here even at our relatively small scale is figure out how to tap into consumer behavior without asking consumers to change,” she explained. What we’re trying figure out is how to tap into consumer behavior without asking consumers to change. “So knowing that livestock product consumption is driving climate change by occupying huge amounts of land that would otherwise be capturing carbon … we need to address the system,” she said. “It can’t scale anymore. It’s already scaled to a point where we’re seeing huge problems for climate change and ecosystem services reductions.” Moses believes that Impossible Foods can still scale, and that it can take away market share from traditional animal agriculture to alleviate these issues. “It’s a lofty goal, but it’s exponential scaling,” she said. “We want to double or triple in size every year … The inherent economies of scale of plant-based meat are vastly superior to that of the livestock system — an incredibly environmentally destructive technology because of the amount of inputs required to sustain it.” At scale, Impossible is able to use 96 percent less land, emit 89 percent fewer greenhouse gases and use 87 percent less water, Moses claimed. “It’s just a question of efficiency and how you’re using resources and frankly, animal metabolisms are not going to work for a population of 10 billion people,” she added. It’s just a question of efficiency and how you’re using resources and frankly, animal metabolisms are not going to work for a population of 10 billion people. In addition, she pointed out that Impossible burgers can have slightly different ingredient compositions, making the product resilient to certain commodity shortages and logistical shipping backups. “Plant-based beef can be far more agile because we don’t really have to use the same ingredients all the time,” she said. “So now we use what we have, but there’s nothing saying we can’t use tahil or fava beans or any of a rich array of inputs that are out there. “You have to have binding proteins, you have to have high quality bulk to provide this chew-down, you have to have oils to provide this fat source, but ultimately you can get that from any number of different ingredients. Globally there’s such a diverse array of crop production that is going to provide things like proteins, fats and oils that what the Impossible burger is made of in the United States might be completely different than what it’s manufactured in other parts of the world with other supply chains, especially small local supply chains.” Memphis Meats wants to be a part of the large ‘food production’ tent Memphis Meats is at an even earlier stage of scaling than Impossible Foods, but the company also has generated a good amount of buzz. The company is piloting a new process of producing animal meat, without the animal. In a lab, scientists select specific types of animal cells that could become meat and put them in a cultivating tank, where they undergo a process similar to fermentation to grow muscle and tissue. The company hasn’t reached commercial scale yet, but has received cash infusions from investors including Bill Gates and Richard Branson, as well as industry giants such as Tyson Foods and Cargill. Myrick explained Memphis Meats’ value proposition: “The food system is almost more vast than any of us can really grasp … the world consumes hundreds of billions of pounds of meat and seafood a year. So five to 10 years from now, we think of it as augment, not disrupt. “We’ll still need a lot of different food production methods to keep feeding 8 billion people in that timeline. You can’t do it without large-scale intensive animal agriculture, small-scale subsistence farming, animal husbandry — we think cell-based meat will be a part of that picture, very quickly a bigger part. But I think what it means for us is that we have this philosophy of a big tent. We want to partner with existing industry, coexist, respect consumer traditions.”  Myrick sees the potential to increase the nutrition profile of cell-based meats through chemistry. For now, the company is working on making the product the best it can be, while also considering how to scale to be a meaningful part of food production, according to Myrick. The question for the future is whether Memphis Meats wants to do manufacturing in-house and begin building out that capacity or find a manufacturing partner. “We feel really confident in our path, both to reduce the complexity and the cost of our inputs and also to build out our production system that’s at a scale where the cost makes sense to measure for unit economics that consumers will get,” he said. Once the product is established, in the future, Myrick sees the potential to increase the nutrition profile of cell-based meats through chemistry. “It’s very much a goal to have our product have the identity of conventional meat products,” he said. “It’s very important from a chemistry point of view, from a nutritional point of view, to be within the frame of reference. We think of that as step one, to exceed the expectations of meat-eaters based on their current expectations. But we’re very excited about the next chapter to ideally start to adapt the nutrition profile and hopefully bring products to the consumers that have significant nutritional benefits over that.” Pull Quote Alternative proteins could provide a buffer for supply chain shocks and price volatility that hit early during the pandemic while serving consumers nutritious food. It’s just a question of efficiency and how you’re using resources and frankly, animal metabolisms are not going to work for a population of 10 billion people. Myrick sees the potential to increase the nutrition profile of cell-based meats through chemistry. What we’re trying figure out is how to tap into consumer behavior without asking consumers to change. Topics Food & Agriculture Food Systems VERGE 20 Alternative Protein Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off A plant-based Impossible Whopper from Burger King. Flickr Tony Webster Close Authorship

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How alt-protein companies Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats hope to reshape diets

What the limits of traditional accounting mean for the future of food

November 6, 2020 by  
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What the limits of traditional accounting mean for the future of food Jean Haggerty Fri, 11/06/2020 – 01:00 Traditional accounting methods do not fully capture the externalized costs of economic activities in the food and agricultural space, and this shortcoming is becoming more apparent because climate change is intensifying the focus on sustainable development. Against this backdrop, some industry officials think that true-cost accounting for food offers a better way forward. True-cost accounting aims to make visible the full costs of food by identifying, measuring and valuing the positive and negative environmental, social and health-related externalities of food and agricultural systems. The idea is that it can help companies make informed decisions about their supply chains, help governments develop more effective policies and help consumers make better buying decisions. But few are using true-cost accounting to assess the externalities of food, as experts made clear at a session on the topic at last month’s VERGE 20 conference. A big hurdle is the initial reaction to the idea of sustainable food systems, which is, “Oh no, food is going to get more expensive,” said Pavan Sukhdev, president of WWF International and CEO of GIST Advisory, a sustainability consulting firm. “[But] that’s not true,” he added, noting that thinking only about supermarket prices means overlooking other real costs. According to Sukhdev, true-cost accounting can help because it recognizes that there are many “wallets.” “Some of [these wallets] transact in money and some transact in health,” he explains. “Some will transact to future generations and others will cost the climate. But the costs are there. The question is, are we recognizing them? Are we measuring them? Are we valuing them and are we managing them?” Sukhdev said. To manage is to measure To be efficient in the way that it distributes credits and directs financing in the food and agricultural sectors, the financial market needs accounting methods that offer a full insight into the positive and negative externalities, Jan Köpper, head of impact transparency and sustainability at GLS Bank, told the VERGE audience. If the financial market is to account for sustainable development, it needs to make sure that information is distributed in a way that achieves allocation efficiencies and contributes to sustainable development, he added. “We need to make sure that we understand the true value of an economic activity,” he said, noting that this is a key reason why GLS Bank is active in true-cost accounting for food. Sukhdev noted that a significant amount of the value of food production never gets measured. “Yield per hectare is the only metric that is commonly used to measure food systems. But what about the billion people employed and the value of that sustainable employment? [And] what about the climate costs?” he added. For the nature-based food and agricultural sector, the focus on climate change and sustainable development mean that it will need to increase its focus on sustainability so that it can thrive while feeding the world’s growing population. Applying true-cost accounting By design, true cost accounting for food is about understanding the value that nature delivers every day. “No bees send invoices, even though their pollination is estimated to be worth [$176 billion] per annum… [And] our food system wouldn’t exist without pollination,” said Sukhdev. “[For us] in its most standard approach, true-cost accounting is about the wallet of natural capital, the wallet of human capital and the wallet of social capital,” said Christian Geis, commercial director at Lebensbaum, a mid-sized tea, coffee and spices company based in Germany that applies true-cost accounting to its upstream and core processes. At Lebensbaum, applying true-cost accounting to its upstream processes involves going back to suppliers where raw materials are harvested. On the core processes side, it means looking at energy and waste handling. Geis said that Lebensbaum chose not to focus on applying true-cost accounting to downstream processes because too many unknowns are related to the consumer. “Does [the consumer] use a full kettle of water or just a little bit of water [to make tea]? This is hard to judge,” he said. “We need to move to a new world of accounting… [And] we all need to work with the new standard to bring it to life,” Geis said. The Global Alliance for the Future of Food, in partnership with the Institute for the Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting and the United Nations Environment Programme, released implementation guidance on how to apply true cost accounting for food in late September. The Global Alliance for the Future of Food’s new step-by-step guide builds off work of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food (TEEBAgriFood for short), a global initiative hosted by the U.N. Environment Programme. In 2018, TEEBAgriFood developed an evaluation framework for assessing the impacts and externalities of agriculture and food systems. Topics Food & Agriculture Climate Change VERGE 20 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz photocollage

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What the limits of traditional accounting mean for the future of food

These changes to our food systems could improve human and planetary health

October 26, 2020 by  
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These changes to our food systems could improve human and planetary health Oliver Camp Mon, 10/26/2020 – 01:30 On the recent World Food Day, the clarion call was clearer than ever: We must fix our food systems to improve human health, drive economic growth and save the planet from environmental collapse. The challenges facing us are wide-ranging. The way the world produces and consumes food causes huge environmental impacts, and yet 3 billion people worldwide are unable to afford a healthy diet, and up to a third of the food we produce is wasted. What’s more, hunger and micronutrient deficiencies are concentrated among the poorest and most vulnerable — often including those who produce the food we eat. Meanwhile, the so-called double burden of malnutrition is on the rise: hunger and malnourishment coexisting with overweight and obesity, often in the same countries, communities or even individuals. Tackling these multiple challenges and threats requires coordinated action from the public sector, private sector, NGOs, civil society, innovators and actors throughout the food value chain. In my role at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (a Swiss-based foundation on a mission to advance nutrition outcomes by improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially the most vulnerable), I am constantly inspired by the passion and commitment of our partners across these sectors. In particular, young leaders who refuse to accept the status quo are already driving real change and positive impact in food and ag. Over the past two months, I reached outside my usual network to discuss this topic via email with six fellow honorees from the 2020 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 , to which I was named in June. In particular, our exchange explored how food systems can be made healthier and more sustainable as we look to a future in which we’ll need to find a way to produce enough food to nourish as many as 10 billion people while staying within planetary boundaries. We also considered the role of young leaders from the private and public sectors in this essential transformation. All comments expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of their organizations. Below are excerpts, edited for style and length. If you’d like to discuss these subjects and the future of food systems, join Oliver Camp’s roundtable session Thursday at VERGE 20 . Jennifer Ballen, head of global market operations, Indigo Ag What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? Only eight countries in the world spend less than 10 percent of their household income on food, with the United States spending the least amount (around 6 percent). In contrast, Nigeria spends over half of its household income on food, followed by nine other countries that spend over 40 percent on food. This is not because food is more expensive in Africa than it is in the United States. Au contraire, it is the reverse. The average American spends $2,392 per year on food while the average Kenyan spends $543 per year on food (World Economic Forum, 2016). The global food system, like many of the world’s Achilles’ heels, is representative of the tragedy of the commons: a renowned economic theory by which individual agents of a system using shared resources act in accordance to their self-interest at the expense of society. As the demand for the resource overwhelms the supply, each additional unit consumed directly harms those who can no longer reap the benefits. The chief impediment is that the gain is private, yet the cost is public. One juicy hamburger for you equates to (about) 600 gallons of water consumed, 0.126 pounds of methane released, 13.5 pounds of cattle feed that could have been consumed by a malnourished human, 64.5 square feet of land and the assuaging of animal species distinction, water pollution and habitat destruction. My biggest concern is running out of time. Looking back with regret. My grandchildren wondering how our generation let this happen. The world seems to be less nourished than ever before. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), there are almost 60 million more undernourished people now as compared to 2014. In 2019, 690 million people or 8.9 percent of the world population were undernourished. Moreover, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, scientists posit carbon emissions must drop rapidly to 25 gigatons by 2030, or 7.6 percent emissions reduction every year over the next decade (United Nations). Pause and consider how difficult this will be considering the pace at which our population is growing. We must change our relationship with food. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? The problem is vast. In our world of finite resources, we need to revolutionize the way we produce and consume food to ensure enough nutritious food for 9.8 billion people by 2050. And we need to do so in a way that reduces the environmental devastation on our planet. Awareness is vital to ignite change. I am optimistic that the world is “waking up” Corporations, governments and individuals are enduring the conversation and mobilizing around solutions aimed at producing enough nutritious food for our growing population in a sustainable manner. We have access to myriad documentaries and books aimed at increasing awareness. I am witnessing the increase in education ignite behavior changes in some communities: less meat; less waste; more conscious decisions.  People, corporations and governments are seemingly taking action. We’re seeing a variety of interesting solutions and advancements from the private sector such as carbon sequestration on farms, meatless food that tastes like meat, greater access to vegetarian and vegan options and the use of technology to reduce food waste. The public sector is mobilizing around curbing hunger. We’re working with each other, not at each other’s expense. Collaboration is queen if we are to solve this thing. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? Long-lived, profitable habits are hard to change. While some ignore the issue at hand, others point to the food system as “broken.” Both are dangerous vantage points. The chief impediment to the notion that a system is broken is the illusion that a system can easily be fixed. A different point of view is that the food system is not broken, but instead working exactly the way it was built — by and to the advantage of the rich at the expense of the poor. We don’t need small tweaks and improvements: We need a revolution.  The battle against climate change is vital. The more troops the merrier. Learn, share, act. Sustainability leaders of all ages must educate themselves on the systemic food production and consumption challenges and subsequently educate others. Sustainability leaders should vote those with strong environmental platforms into office. Leaders should also ‘vote’ with their wallets, supporting companies that are part of the solution and avoiding companies that are part of the problem. When designing solutions, it’s imperative to understand that the climate crisis and therefore the global food crisis disproportionately affects people of color, particularly Black and Indigenous peoples, who are more likely to live near toxic areas, be inflicted by pollution and climate-related diseases, experience lagging response to emergencies — the list, unfortunately, goes on. Sustainability leaders must vote at the polls and with their wallets. We need strong public sector commitments to mitigate the global food crisis. Sustainability leaders should vote those with strong environmental platforms into office. Leaders also should “vote” with their wallets, supporting companies that are part of the solution and avoiding companies that are part of the problem. Leaders must lead by example in their own food consumption habits. Is your household dependent on meat? Do you know where your food is coming from and how it is produced? Charlotte Bande, global head of climate strategy, Quantis International What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? I think the first element is how slow we are moving in the right direction. While I understand the complexity of these supply chains and how difficult it will be to fully transition to a more sustainable food system, we are losing critical time in endless debates that are not focusing on action.  A great example is accounting. Companies often spend months if not years trying to get the accounting perfect, and this can shift the focus away from action as a result. Accounting methodologies are yet to be refined and finalized and, in the meantime, companies need to try to find a balanced way to track progress while also taking action. Secondly, companies are setting individual targets to try to solve a global challenge. By focusing on reducing their own impacts instead of looking at things holistically, they sometimes end up losing sight of critical pieces and actually driving change. It leads them to focus on optimizing their current business models rather than taking a step back and look to transform it. To give some concrete examples of what I mean, let’s talk about three major transformations that our food system needs to undertake to become more sustainable, and where we are not seeing the right pace of change. Deforestation is a critical environmental challenge associated with the food system. It drives most of the food and beverage industry climate impacts, threatens biodiversity and water, as well as habitat for people and animals. While many companies are very aware of this issue, they are working on it in a siloed way, which significantly limits opportunities for improvement. Companies have targets that push them to fix their own supply chain, but this can lead to simply shifting the problem to another company’s supply chain. Companies are setting individual targets to try to solve a global challenge. By focusing on reducing their own impacts instead of looking at things holistically, they sometimes end up losing sight of critical pieces and actually driving change. Food loss and waste is another big environmental topic. And like deforestation, it affects much more than the environment alone. We need to feed 11 billion people in the future, and some studies estimate food loss and waste amounts to up to 50 percent of food production. Food loss and waste is very poorly measured right now, and most value chains are not equipped to understand the extent of food loss and waste that is occurring in their supply chain or at consumer levels. However, this is a topic that brings great economic and social opportunities. Reducing companies’ food loss and waste not only would help drastically reduce the food system’s heavy impact at the raw materials extraction stage, it also would help reduce costs, as less food would need to be produced to feed 11 billion people in the future. It might even help farmers earn more for what they sell. Finally, meat consumption. Animal protein production is heavily reliant on feed that is fossil-dependent and contributes to deforestation. To reach a 1.5 degrees Celsius world, we’ll need a paradigm shift in the way we raise animals, and regenerative agriculture practices can and should be a part of the solution. However, in addition to improving practices, there is an opportunity for producers to rally around the idea that less and more sustainable meat options, which will be critical to limit global warming, can still be good for business. These examples show the importance for every company to take a step back and look at the overall picture, understand what a 1.5 degrees C food system looks like, and define how their business model will need to shift to guarantee not only that we can stay within planetary boundaries, but also to ensure their business’ long term resilience. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? The first thing is the shift in consumer mindsets. In Southern California, where I live, I can see the explosion of interest in our local farmers’ markets or the appearance of plant-based options on restaurant menus. To me, this really shows a demand from consumers for these products. On a corporate level, working with companies at Quantis, I have seen a major shift over the past few years. Companies now have a good sense of where their major drivers lie and are seeing the case for some environmental actions. Additionally, they start to better identify where risks associated with a siloed approach might occur and ensure that their identified solutions aren’t simply shifting impacts. Finally, NGOs like the WWF are working to define what a sustainable food system looks like, and I’m hopeful that bringing more clarity on the level of sector-wide transformation needed will help companies take the transformative actions we need. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? I believe it is our role to make these risks and opportunities more visible. During conversations with companies we work with at Quantis, I always try to bring a more global perspective in our discussions, supporting companies in identifying the questions that will put them on the right path and broadening the conversation towards business model transformation rather than incremental changes.  It’s also our role to share our knowledge with the people we know. Not everyone works in our fields and has access to the information we have. We should use this to help others make better-informed decisions by helping them learn what we have learned throughout our careers.  And finally, ask more from our politicians and governments. This is a global challenge that will require collective action. We need everyone on board. Arturo Elizondo, CEO, Clara Foods What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? I am deeply concerned about our reliance on animals to make our food. From a sustainability standpoint, animal agriculture emits more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector (all the planes, ships, cars in the world combined). And from a health standpoint, it’s the cornerstone of the Standard American Diet directly fueling heart disease as the No. 1 killer in the country. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? Conscious consumers give me hope. People voting with their dollars. If it weren’t for conscious consumers actively trying to eat more sustainably, pushing companies to source better and more ethical ingredients, and striving to eat less meat and animal products, the sustainable food-tech startups that can scale massively to transform our food system would have a harder time getting off the ground. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? Advocate for plant-based options at your corporate cafeterias, get you and your colleagues at work to do Meatless Mondays, and get you and your friends excited about out all the new plant-based foods that are now ubiquitous. Demand drives supply. A tiny ripple can create a tsunami. It makes a difference. Alyssa Harding, executive director, Sustainable Food Trade Association What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? Our food system as it is today is broken and is disconnected from the needs of its stakeholders. Our planet’s 500 million smallholder farmers tend to be the most impoverished and malnourished groups, not to mention the disproportionate lack of equitable access to healthy, nutritious food that low income, minority communities often face. We need to find sustainable and equitable solutions that provide nutritious food to almost 10 billion people by 2050, and remedy the global food inequity that permeates our communities and supply chains. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? The global pandemic has illustrated that local, sustainable supply chains are more resilient, and with the rise of regenerative organic agriculture, it is clear that a redefined food system can provide an opportunity for climate impact and environmental justice. I’ve worked with many brands over the past few years who are intrinsically motivated to find good food solutions and think business as a force for good has a unique role to play in both climate action and social justice. Although sustainable food systems lag behind energy and health when it comes to investment and policy, we are at a critical mass to help push forward sustainable development, focus on equitable food access, and diversify our leadership to better serve our economies, people and planet. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? Many of my colleagues can be considered young leaders, and youth climate activists have been gaining a lot of momentum in terms of educational awareness and producer responsibility. I feel very fortunate to pursue both my personal and professional passions in one role, and I think that young leaders can bridge the gap between industry/sector leaders and bring new technology innovation, research hubs, new financing mechanisms and radical collaboration to our conversations on building a truly holistic food system. José Miguel Salazar, senior specialist, corporate sustainability services, CSRone What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? Since the Industrial Revolution, as humanity we have been achieving unprecedented progress in terms of decoupling famine from our living conditions due to advances in technological innovation, science and more efficient industrial practices, among others. However, our modern food systems also have brought a new set of global challenges that require urgent attention and action to fix systemic failures that threaten our way forward. In terms of environmental sustainability, our current global food system accounts roughly for 12.8 percent of our total global greenhouse gas emissions , and its contribution as a sector to climate change is quite significant. In addition, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that roughly a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted along different stages of the value chain. If food waste alone were a country, its emissions would rank third in carbon emissions after China and the U.S. Fixing our food system is an important component to address the urgent climate crisis and at the core lies decoupling our reliance on animal-based foods, which overall have a significantly higher footprint than plant-based foods. We as sustainability professionals have a unique positioning in our organizations, networks and communities to serve as ambassadors or influencers to communicate these challenges and emphasize the opportunities … In terms of human health, based on the latest estimates from the Global Nutrition Report, globally one in nine people is hungry or undernourished, and one in three people is overweight or obese. These findings indicate that a very significant percentage of the world’s population is affected by malnutrition and at least by one or some of the following health issues: poor child growth; micronutrient deficiencies; overweight and obesity; and non-communicable diseases. These health issues ultimately could bring serious and lasting burden for individuals and their families, for communities and for countries. The convergence of these challenges creates unprecedented risks for the sustainability of our natural environment and the development of societies and economies. Moreover, we need to keep in mind that our world population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050, hence food production would have to be increased to meet growing demands and, of course, we would have to bring innovations along the value chain. In this regard, what concerns me the most is our ability to accelerate the innovation and change at scale that is needed on time and in ways that respect human well-being and the environment. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? There are several positive signals of change I’ve been observing in the last few years. But I’d like to highlight three in particular: 1. Growing awareness and changing behaviors. Increased access to education and modern communication technologies have brought more attention towards these issues, and rapidly emerging groups of consumers advocate and favor food products that are more nutritious, with lower environmental footprint and that contribute to regenerative agricultural practices. This is still a niche market from the total, however many social enterprises, companies and even multinational corporations are understanding and designing or re-adjusting their operations to meet these emerging needs. 2. Advances in technologies and their applications. Solving these challenges requires addressing a number of gaps (food production gaps, agricultural land area use gaps, GHG mitigation gaps, inequities gaps, nutrition outcomes gaps, etc.) and this requires better collection and analysis of data. Emerging new technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence can help us to understand and identify areas to invest resources and increase positive impact. 3. The rise of multi-stakeholder initiatives. Organizations such as GAIN, the FAO, the Global Nutrition Report, the WEF and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) provide important platforms for different stakeholders to convene and develop system-wide proposals and solutions. These initiatives can be implemented on the ground through the collaboration of governments, investors, business, NGOs, civil society and consumers that have the capacity to accelerate change and scale up the innovations where needed the most while creating shared value. Solving the food systems challenge is an immense task and it could not be addressed by one stakeholder alone. How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? Since this is a very complex and systemic challenge, I think there are plenty of areas where sustainability leaders can advance progress. Any sort of innovation brought along the value chain (production, storing, processing and packaging, distribution and consumption) will be important. There is a great report from the World Resources Institute (WRI) that offers a set of five solutions to ensure we can feed 10 billion people by 2050 without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation or exacerbating poverty. I highly recommend everyone interested in the topic to take a look at it. In my view, anybody can exercise the role of a positive agent of change in these topics and move forward solutions; however, in terms of how and where can young sustainability leaders be most influential, I believe it is through the advocacy of the risks and opportunities from the food system failures internally in their organizations and externally with the wider society and governments. We as sustainability professionals have a unique positioning in our organizations, networks and communities to serve as ambassadors or influencers to communicate these challenges, but also and most importantly emphasize the opportunities of creating shared-value and proposing practical initiatives that can bring these opportunities forward.   Katerina Fragos, manager, sustainability and climate change consulting, PwC What concerns you about the current global food system when it comes to environmental sustainability and human health? I have three concerns with the global food system. First, a large majority of medical practitioners will tell you that nutrition is not well-covered in medical school curriculum just as several farmers will tell you that regenerative agriculture techniques are not yet well-understood in their community groups. This means that two of the most important stakeholders in our health and food system are missing the knowledge and tools to entrench sustainability within the system. Second, modern life has decoupled us from the food system, with many of us never visiting a farm or tending to a garden in our lifetimes. A lack of exposure to the various steps in our food system value chain makes it challenging to understand just how damaged the system has become. Third, the cheapest and most available foods are also often the least healthy and sustainable. We need to start replacing calorie-dense, nutrition-devoid foods with plant-based, nutrition-rich alternatives to make the healthiest foods the most accessible and affordable. What gives you hope and optimism when you look at the future of our global food system? I am encouraged by the large number of medical professionals focusing on communicating and simplifying the complex science behind nutrition and health to empower people to make more informed food choices. There are fantastic sources of information available. To name a few: Dr. Michael Gregger’s NutritionFacts.org and Daily Dozen app as well as Dr. Will Bulsiewicz’s Fiber Fueled . There is also a great deal of momentum around regenerative agriculture with organizations such as the Land Institute , Regeneration International and RegenAg taking the lead. Interestingly, certain experts, like Dr. Zach Bush, have even begun to triangulate the concepts of health, nutrition and regenerative agriculture through efforts such as the Farmer’s Footprint . How can young sustainability leaders play a role in securing a nutritious and sustainable future of food? From a personal perspective, a few actions to consider: transition towards a plant-based diet; aim to grow our own food (start small with herbs) if possible; try to buy from local farmers; look for third-party certifications (RFA, organic, etc.). From a professional perspective, there are plenty of opportunities to drive action. For instance, aim to influence the spending habits of the organization you work for (catered events, cafeteria options), work for food manufacturers and retailers to help accelerate their transitions to more sustainable and regenerative models; participate in sustainable food advocacy groups or organizations. Pull Quote Sustainability leaders should vote those with strong environmental platforms into office. Leaders should also ‘vote’ with their wallets, supporting companies that are part of the solution and avoiding companies that are part of the problem. Companies are setting individual targets to try to solve a global challenge. By focusing on reducing their own impacts instead of looking at things holistically, they sometimes end up losing sight of critical pieces and actually driving change. We as sustainability professionals have a unique positioning in our organizations, networks and communities to serve as ambassadors or influencers to communicate these challenges and emphasize the opportunities … Topics Food & Agriculture 30 Under 30 VERGE 20 Collective Insight 30 Under 30 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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These changes to our food systems could improve human and planetary health

BP, Shell, oil giants fund research into mobile carbon capture from ships at sea

October 26, 2020 by  
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BP, Shell, oil giants fund research into mobile carbon capture from ships at sea Michael Holder Mon, 10/26/2020 – 00:05 A coalition of oil and gas majors are eyeing up the potential to capture carbon dioxide emissions from ships out at sea, teaming up with global tanker owner and operator Stena Bulk to evaluate the feasibility of technology they claim could play a key role in decarbonizing the hard-to-abate sector. The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) — which represents 12 of the world’s largest oil and gas companies including BP, Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Aramco and Petrobras — revealed recently it is funding research alongside Stena Bulk into mobile carbon capture on board ships out at sea. The project aims to evaluate the technical and economic challenges involved in capturing CO2 from ships cruising the oceans, and is in part an extension to OGCI member Saudi Aramco’s research which it claims has successfully demonstrated carbon capture on board heavy-duty trucks on roads, it said. “Carbon capture will play an important role in reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, but there’s no reason it needs to be limited to stationary applications,” said Michael Traver, head of OGCI’s transport workstream. “Expanding carbon capture to long-distance marine shipping could help accelerate its use, while addressing a difficult to abate sector of the transport industry.” Expanding carbon capture to long-distance marine shipping could help accelerate its use. OGCI claims mobile carbon capture technologies aboard ships could help the global shipping sector reach its current climate target to cut emissions by 50 percent by 2050, from a 2008 baseline — a goal that has faced criticism from green groups for lacking ambition. The research itself is also likely to provoke renewed criticism of the OCGI’s priorities, given it focuses on CCS technologies that would in effect prolong the use of fossil fuels to power ships, rather than on alternative, low or zero carbon shipping fuels that could transition the sector away from fossil fuels altogether. But Stena Bulk President and CEO Erik Hånell argued it was “increasingly evident that we need to evaluate as many potential solutions as possible that might help decarbonize the industry.” “Carbon capture might be such a solution with the potential to play a key role in this transition, and this feasibility study presents a unique opportunity for us to work with some of our key customers to understand and assess the technical and economic challenges involved in making carbon capture work onboard vessels,” he said. The global shipping sector is responsible for around 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and has received flak over its failure to come up with a detailed, ambitious plan to decarbonize in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The global shipping sector is responsible for around 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) — the UN-affiliated body which oversees the global shipping sector — agreed on a draft target to cut global emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008, alongside targets to cut the average carbon intensity by at least 40 percent by 2030. However, details of the strategy have yet to be fully thrashed out, and crunch negotiations over how the industry should go about meeting its near-term 2030 climate goals are set to kick off today at the IMO, amid concerns from green groups that current proposals amount to an “empty shell. ” Meanwhile, the OGCI today announced that its members collectively have reduced the cut their absolute upstream methane emissions by 22 percent since 2017, shrinking the methane intensity of members’ upstream oil and gas to operations to 0.23 percent. It surpasses its target to cut methane intensity to 0.25 percent by 2020, and as such the OGCI has set a stricter goal of 0.2 percent by 2025. Moreover, the group claims to have cut its carbon intensity by 7 percent collectively since 2017, as it pushes towards its target for a 13 percent cut.  However, carbon intensity targets have faced increasing criticism from green groups, as organizations potentially can still increase their overall emissions by expanding their business while reducing the CO2 intensity of their operations.  Pull Quote Expanding carbon capture to long-distance marine shipping could help accelerate its use. The global shipping sector is responsible for around 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Topics Oil & Gas Carbon Removal Shipping & Logistics BusinessGreen Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Stena Conqueror is a Oil and Chemical Tanker, built by Swedish tanker giant Stena Bulk. The company is participating in a novel carbon capture project for shipping. Flickr royvanwijk Close Authorship

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