A little over a year ago you launched a product called CO2Count. As the name suggests, it helped your customers get a handle on their carbon footprint and gave them the sort of information that is critical for any attempt to reduce their emissions. For this reason alone, it’s a great product.
What made it something extraordinary was contained in the small print. Every single customer who signed up to CO2Count made a cash contribution to Cool Earth. You may not know much about Cool Earth since we are a small charity but we do something very specific
Let me explain.
Every year the global transportation system creates 13% of global carbon emissions. That’s everything from motorbikes to container ships, and of course the thousands of vehicles you keep fuelled every day. It’s a big number but it’s still well short of the emissions created by tropical deforestation. Every year, destruction of rainforest creates 17% of our carbon emissions.
Whilst it will take a long time to decarbonise all our transport emissions, there’s no reason we can’t halt the impact of deforestation in a decade. That’s because the value of logging or cleared land is actually very small compared to the value of keeping that carbon locked up in trees and soil. And let’s not ignore the biggest store of biodiversity on the planet.
The challenge is helping local people in the rainforest realise the value of keeping trees safe. Reserves don’t tend to work and building fences around forest delays destruction at best.
Cool Earth realised six years ago that the best people to keep rainforest safe are those who depend on it every day for their livelihoods. If we could find a way of making incomes from standing forest better and more reliable than cash from logging, simple economics would save the forest.
And with the support of yourselves and CO2Count, this is exactly what we have been doing. Last year you donated an incredible £78,764 that was spent on Cool Earth’s Ashaninka project in Peru.
The project sits on the most active arc of deforestation in the world. On the Western Amazon’s front line, you have done something incredible;
- You have helped protect 1,310 acres of Peruvian rainforest that would otherwise have been lost to logging.
- You have helped keep 306,500 trees standing.
- You have helped lock in 340,600 tonnes of CO2.
Behind these huge numbers are 15 Ashaninka villages that now have a future thanks to your support. That’s 2,151 people who have been able to halt logging and lead lives in harmony with the forest that they depend upon.
The village elder, Cesar Bustamante, puts it very well: “We are so grateful to you all, for helping to protect the rainforest and allowing us to build a better world for our children and grandchildren. From all of us, thank you so much for continuing to help.”
The impact of CO2Count doesn’t stop there. Over the coming year you will be helping protect at least another 1,000 acres. More trees saved, more emissions reduced and more lives protected. It’s a huge achievement that I hope you are justly proud of.
With all our thanks,
Cool Earth Director
P.S. Keep up-to-date with your Cool Earth partnership here.