We have a problem: our planet is heating up due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This is manifesting in different ways and all around the Earth: weather patterns are changing, desertification is expanding, sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acid, and many species are on the brink of extinction. The levels of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increased significantly since the offset of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s. The global atmospheric concentration of CO2 increased from a pre-industrial value of about 280ppm to 379ppm in 2005 (IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007). The average global temperature rose about 0.8 °C higher than its pre-industrial level. In an effort to mitigate climate change, economists, governments, corporations and environmentalists have proposed, since early 1990s, the use of ‘offsetting’ mechanisms to help polluting industries to compensate for their CO2 emissions by either expanding or protecting forests somewhere else. The idea of offsetting industrial carbon emissions through biological carbon sequestration and storage has been fiercely debated since it was first proposed. Many NGOs, developing country governments, and local communities oppose the concept for a variety of reasons. Based on this idea of carbon offsetting, REDD schemes were created. The idea of REDD was first put on the international agenda at COP 13 in Bali (2007). Some see REDD as one of the best mechanism to help combat climate change, whereas others remain skeptical to their efficiency and even see them as dangerous. This is why Village Earth has begun offering a new course Climate Change and Community Development: the Impact of Carbon Offsetting Schemes. This course will first run January 25 – March 1, 2013 with registration ending January 20. Click the link for more information or to register.
This course covers the principles of using technology effectively in community development, and uses examples and case studies to illustrate successful technology implementations.