Goodbye!

I’m sad to say that today marks the end of my journey with CO2balance. After 3 very enjoyable years, the time has come to say goodbye and thank you to a wonderful team, both here in the UK and across Africa.

During my time at CO2balance, I have had some amazing experiences, and looking back, I can’t believe some of the places I have been and the things I have done have been “work.” Three years ago, I had never been to Africa before. . . now I feel like Rwanda has become my second home, and I have fond memories from my time spent there, in Kenya and in Malawi.

Whilst our African adventures are obviously one of the highlights of our job, the time spent in our UK office has been that bit more enjoyable as a result of the fantastic team here! Not to forget the great team of staff we have in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda too- we couldn’t do our jobs without you, so thank you. I’d like to thank you all for the fun, laughter, and of course hard work that we’ve all put in, I will miss you all!

I will keep this goodbye short and sweet. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are just a few of my favourite memories from my time as a part of the CO2balance family. . .

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I wish CO2balance every success in the future and I will continue to follow the project stories with interest. Goodbye!

Rwandan boreholes

 

While the CO2balance and Climate Corporation cookstove projects in Rwanda continue to make fantastic progress, we are also working on feasibility studies to be able to start our first Rwandan borehole project! We are working closely together with Rwandans4water, a non-profit organisation registered in Rwanda providing clean water solutions to communities. Rwandans4water was established in 2008 by a group of Rwandan engineering students graduating from different universities in Rwanda and abroad with the aim of improving people’s health conditions by providing clean water as well as inspiring and equipping the youth to be part of solutions to problems the country faces. We are looking forward to start the work on the ground, stay tuned for further updates!

to be rehabilitated soon...

to be rehabilitated soon…

Earth Overshoot Day

August 19 was Earth Overshoot Day 2014, marking the date when humanity has exhausted nature’s ‘budget’ for the year.

Starting from today and for the rest of this year, we will be drawing down on ecological resources that the Earth cannot replenish – in essence we will be operating in the ecological red.  Current estimates suggest that we need approximately 1.5 Earths to sustain our current requirement for ecological resources and this is well on track to be 3 Earths by 2050.  

As each country on Earth has different ecological resources, different populations and different consumption patterns you can also consider the ecological resource balance at a country level. Capture The graphic to the left illustrates some select countries with a negative balance, and as you can see the UK in particular has some work to do to start living within its ecological means.  

Its not all bad news, 14% of the world still operates in the black and Canada, Australia, Brazil and Finland are all notable high income countries with an ecological capacity that is able to support their populations. However, it is immediately clear that these counties all have something in common, they have vast tracts of wilderness relative to their population sizes. In essence, this means that the success of these countries is more by accident rather than by them adopting some kind of ecologically sensitive approach to their own resource consumption.  Bearing in mind that 86% of the world operates in the red and the 14% that do not are perhaps an ecological accident, does this mean that comparing countries in this way is even relevant?  

As a planet, we all need to take action and the danger of comparing countries with one another is that it will create disagreements between what is the most appropriate course of action to take.  As we have seen with the last two UN Climate Negotiations, we risk taking no action at all because our leaders cannot agree on what action is fair – this is a rather absurd situation when the one thing our leaders are all in agreement about is that they need to take action!  The message here then, is dont wait for someone to tell you what to – as we pass into the Overshoot this year think about what small steps you can take to reduce our own personal consumption, wherever and whoever you are.