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(Seven-minute read) 

It is not an overstatement to say that we all need to take responsibility for the carbon consequences of every choice we make. Such as filling up your car with petrol or booking a long-haul flight, or subtle, like when you buy a coffee or a new pair of shoes, or even increasing your cloud storage plan.

Pretty much everything we buy has a carbon footprint.

Every financial transaction has a climate consequence.

Companies are increasingly using environmental claims to appeal to consumers.

Our daily choices leave a carbon footprint. We know this, and we are all aware of the monumental climate risks posed by carbon emissions.

Demand for solutions is growing but if you know something is bad for you and you don’t know how to measure it, how can you reduce it?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could count, take control of and reduce our carbon emissions just as we take control of our diets?

Until now, despite huge advances in technology, monitoring and reducing our impact on the planet has been difficult.

As an individual, it is hard to incorporate carbon credits into your daily life.

There is no reason that all consumer products should be required to be labeled with their Cardon footprint. 

Consider cars, electrical or not.   

It takes about a tonne of steel to build it. Producing a tonne of steel emits two tonnes of carbon dioxide. 

By placing a value on the ecosystems that support our planet, carbon footprint labeling would internalize the invisible costs of everyday choices and allow a sustainable marketplace to emerge.

The market is beset by a lack of visibility. 

Imagine a world in which carbon emissions and footprints can be tracked transparently and reliably.

Retailers will be able to sell a product and take into account the carbon impact it creates at the same time.

Governments will be able to measure, track and trade emissions transparently. And crucially, for the first time, consumers will be able to understand the environmental impact of the products they are buying – both positive and negative – at the point of sale and will be able to mitigate this in an instant, with millions of micro-transactions scaling up to make a huge collective impact.

In a free-market economy, it is very difficult to force people to pay more for products but as the price lowers, our willingness and ability to buy an item increase.

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There will be billions of words from here to the moon and back and media footage of Cop26 over the next month. 

After which we will be asking the question of how did we end up turning not just carbon into a commodity but climate itself. 

Cop26 like previous Climate conferences is a bargaining area.

” You change this and I will change that.”

The Kyoto Protocol allowed for emission offsets in developing countries, whereas Paris creates an opportunity to extend the reach and deepen the integration of carbon markets.

With climate change a growing threat, economists came up with the idea of trading the right to pollute, creating a financial incentive to curb emissions.

Both lead to difficulty in assessing emission baselines with the free allocation of carbon permits leading to an oversupply in the market to be traded as greenwashing.  

This can be remedied by tightening caps in line with current climate targets and auctioning all available permits.

Broader criticisms of carbon trading include concerns that it has proven ineffective – some offset schemes even counterproductive – and it disproportionately affects lower-income classes.

Applying a carbon footprint labeling system might create a “carbon currency”  which is the key to demystifying and consolidating the carbon market so it can scale up.

Carbon credits are the perfect candidate for a digital currency as they are data-driven, rely on multiple approval steps, and exist separately to the physical impacts to which they correlate.

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The danger of climate becoming a product is obvious one only has to look at the words now used to describe a product. 

The word “ green ” is applied broadly to almost everything related to benefiting the environment, from production and transportation to architecture and even fashion.

Eco-friendly isn’t quite so broad and defines products or practices that do not harm the Earth’s environment.

Bioproducts or bio-based products are materials, chemicals, and energy derived from renewable biological resources. They are commercial or industrial products that are composed in whole, or in significant part, of biological products or renewable domestic
agricultural materials or forestry materials.

Climate-friendly defines products that reduce damage specifically to the climate.

Some brands are even moving beyond simply eco-friendly and now seek to claim their products are climate-neutral.

All these terms are used in labeling to make us feel good if we buy products claimed to minimize harm to the planet and the environment.

Consumer concern about the environment does not readily translate into the purchase of environmentally friendly products.

Take.  Meat the way people consume and think about meat is going to need to change in the coming years as meat processing companies face pressure to curb greenhouse gases in the fight against climate change.

McDonald’s — one of the largest beef purchasers in the world.

Finding ways to use carbon emissions to replace the “raft of products made from chemicals from petroleum” could have a significant impact on climate change.

Climatop label certifies products that generate significantly less greenhouse gas than comparable products.

Imagine a world where you take your waste back and reuse it.

All human comments are appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.