Here is How the Latest Climate Technologies Pave the Way for Zero Carbon in South East Asia
The yesteryear had unprecedented weather extremes. Climate disasters caused damage to nations all over the world, including everything from searing droughts in Europe and China to disastrous floods in Australia and Pakistan. Countries are now prioritizing bolstering their infrastructure and systems so that they can be more prepared for and adaptable to such climate calamities because the economic cost of doing so has increased significantly. Southeast Asia (SEA) is particularly sensitive to climate change's consequences. Low-lying, heavily populated coastal communities in the region are in danger due to rising sea levels, and extreme weather conditions like tropical storms and droughts threaten people's lives and prosperity. Despite this, many Southeast Asian nations have not yet adopted sustainability measures that might help to lessen the severity of these problems, such as carbon reduction plans and net-zero emission objectives.
These difficulties all serve to emphasize how urgently strong climate solutions are required. Hope can be found in recent developments in climate technology and mitigation. Companies in the area are contributing to the fight against climate change and creating future communities that are more resilient by developing and scaling carbon markets, investing in alternative fuels, and investing in the circularization of trash. Carbon markets are platforms or marketplaces where carbon offsets and credits can be bought, sold, and traded. One traded ton of greenhouse gas reduction, sequestration, or avoidance equals one carbon credit or offset.
Zero Carbon Approach in SEA
Using carbon credits and offsets is essential in the fight against climate change because they give individuals, organizations, and governments practical ways to reduce their carbon footprint while enhancing the preservation of the environment and biodiversity by promoting the expansion of carbon mitigation projects. A regulatory authority issues or distributes carbon credits in compliance markets based on rules or policy requirements and in voluntary carbon markets, where carbon offsets are created, acquired, and sold voluntarily.
The regional carbon market in SEA is still in its infancy, and nations only have voluntary markets. Only Singapore has a carbon price in place among the SEA nations. The area is a good location for high-quality carbon offset projects because it is home to 15 percent of the world's tropical forests. Additionally, there has been a considerable demand for carbon offsets due to the increased commitment that organizations and governments worldwide have made to combating climate change. By 2030, the potential offline created by the SEA might provide $10 billion to the economy.
The climate-tech startups in the area are attempting to close the gap between businesses that wish to decarbonize and the supply of carbon projects in order to reap the full economic benefits. Fairatmos, an Indonesian company, has created the nation's first carbon technology platform to link buyers of carbon offsets with producers of carbon projects.
Singaporean startups like Zuno and Unravel Carbon provide businesses with de-carbonization options. To assist companies in automating their organizational carbon accounting, Zuno offers AI-based solutions. Services provided by Unravel Carbon include a software-as-a-service platform for de-carbonization, access to sustainability specialists, and specialized routes to reaching net-zero goals. The variable quality and dependability of the available carbon credits and offsets are the most important concern, even if SEA's carbon market needs to address its problems with efficiency and scalability. It's probable that some of the privately certified carbon offsets offered on the worldwide voluntary carbon market are "phantom credits," meaning they don't actually reduce carbon emissions. This is because of the lack of a stronger governance framework in place.
Fortunately, efforts are underway to improve the governance of voluntary carbon markets. Other private, worldwide initiatives have been established, like the Taskforce on Nature Markets and the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market.
The Carbon Prospecting Dashboard is a piece of interactive mapping software that was developed by researchers from Singapore's Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions. This software, which intends to enhance the search for excellent carbon projects, is the first of its type. It can identify carbon-rich forests that are at risk from logging and calculate the societal and environmental advantages of protecting tropical rainforests. Tropical rainforests are abundant in natural capital, which refers to the economic worth of a region's environment, natural resources, and biodiversity. They are also abundant in carbon. While carbon dioxide emissions are the same everywhere, the value of nature and biodiversity is greatly influenced by location.
SEA now has a lot of natural capital, but that richness is disappearing quickly. By 2100, the region might lose up to 90 percent of its ecosystems and up to 42 percent of its species if things continue as they are. However, this escalating ecological deficit can be reduced by mobilizing investments into natural capital assets. As a result, SEA is in a position to not only profit from the global carbon markets but also to drive the expansion of the global market for natural capital.
What is the Alternative Fuel for the Cleaner World?
The switch to clean energy and low-carbon fuels is another crucial de-carbonization approach that SEA must implement. Since fossil fuels account for 83 percent of SEA's energy supply and it is the fourth-largest energy user in the world, this transition is critical. Positively, nine of the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member governments have demonstrated a strong commitment to attaining net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Renewable energy made up 14 percent of ASEAN's energy mix in 2020, and ASEAN as a whole has promised to raise that percentage to 23 percent by 2025. One of the most important renewable energy sources that can aid ASEAN in meeting its climate goals is green hydrogen, which is produced by electrolyzing water. Because 95 percent of hydrogen is created using coal and gas, the yearly global production of hydrogen accounts for 830 million tons of carbon dioxide, or around three percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy is used to produce the remaining five percent. The production of hydrogen can be decarbonized by switching to green hydrogen, which offers a climate-neutral production process. Green hydrogen can also be a vital component in decarbonizing the shipping, aviation, and heavy sectors.
To create green hydrogen projects in Indonesia, the Indonesian oil giant Pertamina is looking into possible partnerships with Chevron, an American multinational organization, and the Keppel organization. The first green hydrogen plant in Vietnam is now being constructed in Ben Tre by TGS Green Hydrogen. According to researchers, every day of the year should be observed as Earth Day. Climate change remedies are viewed as spanning the boundaries of nature.