Portfolio Perspective – Imagine a low carbon world; customers, demand it!

18 May 2021

Climate Investment

Imagine a low carbon world. It’s a world where suppliers compete for customers on the size of their carbon footprint, not just the price of their product. It’s a world where customers demand products that display low-carbon certification, reflecting emissions at every stage of production, from the extraction of raw materials to the delivery of a finished product.

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We need to invest in it…

At Climate Investment, we brought this low-carbon future a little closer when we invested in NextDecade, a company that will soon deliver the lowest carbon liquified natural gas (LNG) to its customers.

Backed by OGCI Climate Investment, NextDecade will source low-carbon natural gas from companies; using carbon capture technology, they will then extract 90 percent of carbon emissions as the gas is processed and that captured carbon will then be stored safely underground. At a single site, NextDecade will reduce carbon emissions by 5 million tonnes each year. OGCI member Occidental is participating in the project through its subsidiary, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, and is planning to sequester the CO2 which is captured from the NextDecade facility.

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…and also invest in the rest of the system

This investment is a start but it is only a start. It is not enough to invest in just one piece of the puzzle. We need to address the entire system, ensuring that we demand, measure, audit and re-cycle resources at every step. Only then will we ensure that all products and services are delivered at the lowest possible carbon footprint.

Systemic change like this is far closer than we might imagine. With today’s technology, we could be reducing emissions at every link in the LNG supply chain. Suppliers of natural gas can make use of the latest technology to mitigate methane emissions and provide auditable measurement of them. Ships that transport LNG across the world can be fitted with the latest emissions-reduction technology, and then dock at ports equipped with cutting edge low-carbon infrastructure. Fuel-efficient vehicles can transport this LNG to its final destination, to be used with carbon capture for industrial manufacturing.

and who is asking for this?

We all should be demanding low-carbon goods and services! If we are to hit the Paris climate targets, we need low-carbon construction, consumer goods, electronics, cars, food, and so much more. Simply by using the low-carbon technology at our fingertips today, we could reduce global emissions by between 20 and 50 percent.

…so how do we create demand?

Policies and regulations can stimulate demand for solutions like these. The countries that have committed to ambitious climate targets must now follow with legislation to match.

But it’s not just up to them, it’s up to all of us. We all need to be more demanding of the products and services we buy, whether purchasing through an industrial or government supply chain or for personal consumption. And the suppliers need to lead the way, competing for our customers on carbon.

As we all demand low-carbon solutions, we can make the dream of a “circular economy” real. We’ll no longer have to imagine a low-carbon world. We’ll live in one.

Note: In this article “carbon” is shorthand for carbon-dioxide and methane emissions.

Also to learn more about the circular carbon economy, you can read this guide from KAPSARC.

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