Here is the summary of an article published in Labs of Latvia.
In the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), held in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh, climate change and Africa were among the top topics discussed. Latvian Anete Garoza and Estonian Kristjan Raude were among the panellists in the African pavilion, representing their high-quality nature-based carbon removal project developer, 1MTN.
Anete Garoza: A Climate Issues Lawyer
Anete Garoza is a lawyer based in Riga, Latvia, who runs her firm, Inlud. She has worked on climate issues for the past four years and helping big European corporations design their carbon credit projects. Anete also provides consultancy to governments about implementing a carbon tax and emission trading systems.
Kristjan Raude: An Experienced Entrepreneur and Angel Investor
Kristjan Raude is a well-known entrepreneur in sales and marketing in the Baltic startup ecosystem. He has been an angel investor for the past six years and has led the Estonian Business Angel Network for six months in 2021. He became interested in the topic of impact and climate change when he realized that close to 50% of global GDP is nature-related, and nature is crucial to the survival of businesses.
Designing Carbon Credit Projects
A carbon credit project refers to designing activities that reduce the carbon footprint of a particular company. These activities are certified under international standards such as VERRA or the Gold Standard, and the carbon credits earned can be sold. However, there is currently no open market for carbon credit selling, and all transactions are done through brokers or "over the counter."
Marketing vs Real Action
Anete and Kristjan believe that the current efforts to reduce emissions are more focused on marketing than actual action. Kristjan believes that corporate activities in climate change are driven by marketing and PR campaigns, whereas Anete considers that the European Green Deal will make sustainability more than just marketing.
Project in Africa
Anete and Kristjan met at the Latitude, one of the most significant Estonian startup events, where they came up with the idea for their project. They have been running their carbon credit development project in Africa for over half a year now, and the feedback has motivated them to keep going.
Kristjan and Anete believe that three emerging trends are driving sustainability:
Consumer demand is forcing companies to reach net zero emissions.
Developed nations are under pressure to act, as their survival is at stake.
Corporate entrepreneurs realize the effect of climate change on their bottom line.
The Future of Carbon Credit Certification
With the European Green Deal not permitting sustainability to remain just marketing, Anete believes that the financial sector is the first industry to go under this framework. Banks in the European Union have already had to calculate the carbon footprint of the companies they finance, and those with a nasty carbon footprint have to take action. The future of carbon credit certification is bright, and companies should take advantage of it to reach net zero emissions and ensure their survival.