I spent today with a group of people I would never have had any relation to if it wasn’t for climate change. On Santo Espiritu (one of the 83 islands of Vanuatu) forest is being protected to sequester carbon in a project certified according to the Plan Vivo standard. With Opus Bilprovning I’m visiting the project.
Climate change is perhaps the greatest threat faced by humankind but my experiences on Vanuatu made me realise that climate change also presents amazing opportunities.
The Vanuatu Plan Vivo REDD+ project is run by the Serthiac clan, who organise themselves in much the same way as a family company. The clan is made up of 25 individuals, living in a remote, undeveloped country of 300 000 people in the Pacific Ocean. The average income of the clan members is 5 USD per adult per day. From the REDD+ project, the clan receives income in return for providing carbon sequestration services in the forest that they own.
Recognising the threats posed by climate change and a responsibility to work to reduce those threats, Opus Bilprovning is carbon offsetting through the Vanuatu project. In other words a vehicle inspection company with over 500 employees, that operates in a highly developed country, is buying the services of a group of individuals who live off the land on the other side of the world.
On the face of it the Serthiac clan and Opus Bilprovning have nothing in common. But since the planet’s atmosphere can be impacted both positively and negatively from anywhere on earth, a meaningful commercial relationship between these two organisations becomes possible. Today I was struck by just how remarkable that is.