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Invert Insights September 29, 2023

Unlocking voluntary carbon market potential, greenwashing ban, the environmental cost of war, and climate goals hardship.

  • Unlocking voluntary carbon market potential: roundtable aims to boost high integrity demand
  • EU to ban greenwashing
  • The environmental cost of war: America’s war in Afghanistan 
  • Lego: overcoming challenges on the path to climate goals

Unlocking Voluntary Carbon Market Potential: Roundtable Aims to Boost High Integrity Demand

The COP28 Presidency, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ), and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) organized a roundtable discussion involving businesses, financial institutions, and standard setters with the objective to bolster high-integrity demand within the Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCMs). Participants stressed the need for credibility in the VCMs as a tool to drive capital into carbon projects while maintaining focus on reducing corporate emissions, emphasizing the urgency for clear standards throughout the VCM process. 

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Unified standards can speed up the growth of high-quality carbon credits and cut down on the time and resources spent on due diligence. Organizations can also partner with reliable, standards-compliant players to invest in projects that match their corporate objectives all while focusing on reducing their emissions.

EU to Ban Greenwashing

EU leaders have reached a provisional agreement on new rules to ban misleading advertisements to help consumers make informed decisions. According to negotiators from Parliament and Council, sustainability labels should be based on approved certification schemes or established by public authorities. A new extended guarantee label was also proposed to show which products last longer, leaving a solid stance on early obsolescence. Interested in knowing exactly what will be banned? Read the full announcement here.

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The provision of clear rules ensures that companies make credible claims, which in turn fosters credibility in the sustainability transition. This promotes transparency, accountability and integrity among the industries, potentially influencing consumer attitudes and behaviors.  

The Environmental Cost of War: America’s War in Afghanistan 

America’s 20-year military occupation devastated Afghanistan’s environment, according to an Inside Climate News investigation in collaboration with New Lines Magazine. Due to hazardous waste produced, the military activity contaminated Afghanistan’s farmlands and groundwaters for entire communities living near U.S. military bases. Locals have also been exposed to toxic substances that can cause congenital disabilities, damage DNA and other various health issues.

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The environmental cost of war remains significantly under documented, and its effects are starting well before they commence and persisting long after they cease. The demands placed on resources, the generation of hazardous waste, the deployment of extensive heavy machinery across landscapes, and the substantial carbon emissions emitted in the process all collectively contribute to a lasting legacy of destruction, necessitating extensive reconstruction efforts, where feasible, to restore what has been lost. This underscores yet another reason to say no to armed conflicts.

Lego: Overcoming Challenges on the Path to Climate Goals

Danish toy maker Lego is finding itself in a difficult situation that showcases the challenges that companies encounter when working on achieving their climate goals. The toy maker has abandoned their ambitious plan of replacing oil-based plastics from its bricks with recycled plastic bottles after finding that it would actually lead to higher carbon emissions. Why? Because to do so, the toy maker would have to redesign its factories. However, Lego hasn’t given up on its climate goals, it is tripling its investment in sustainability, focusing on using other recyclable materials and looking to implement circularity projects. 

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Using recycled materials is indeed a worthy idea. Yet, maintaining the  current consumption patterns impedes the potential for lasting change across generations. The outcomes of the Lego project make them and its peers think outside the box to gain a comprehensive understanding of a products’ lifecycle to close any possible gaps to prevent them from meeting a premature end in the garbage. 

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