Inseparable issues: Climate change and global inequality
In one of our myriad conversations about saving the planet, a colleague of ours recently made the stark but rarely stated observation, that as long as we have four or five billion people living in poverty, we will never achieve meaningful sustainability. For the preponderance of our planet’s inhabitants, environmental activism is a luxury in which they simply cannot indulge. For those who simply struggle to meet their immediate needs, it’s nearly impossible to consider the long-term, ecological consequences of their decisions.
We choose to work in the tropics, and in areas with less access to economic resources, because these are literally the front lines of climate change. It’s between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn where temperatures and weather patterns are being most affected, and where sea level rise is most pronounced. Although the bulk of responsibility sits with the global north, where industrialization has been so rampant for the last century or two, it’s the global south that’s getting hit the hardest with storms, fires, droughts, floods, and yes, topsoil loss.
Planboo works with tropical biomass to produce soil-enriching biochar that sequesters atmospheric carbon, which mainly originated in the north. At the same time, it fortifies the topsoil, contributing to healthier food and higher yields, while warding off erosion and desertification.
And finally, through our close collaboration with the European Biochar Certificate and other verifying bodies, we are able to generate valuable Carbon Dioxide Removal Credits (CDRCs) from the diligent production and application of biochar. The credits are sold on the voluntary market, almost invariably to buyers in the global north, and we are able to perform a degree of wealth distribution, channeling the lion’s share of these revenues to the communities in the tropics.
For the health of our planet and our atmosphere, carbon removal is the name of the game. The urgency is growing and the survival of our species may even depend on it. But at Planboo, we have greater ambitions than mere survival. Through the simple principles of biochar and the innovative mechanism of carbon credit financing, we see a great opportunity to remove carbon, reduce agricultural waste, and regenerate tropical topsoil, all while bringing fresh revenue into the rural communities of Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. Ultimately, we aim to protect ecosystems and improve livelihoods, in order to leave the world a better place than how we found it.
Though our keen concentration on pyrolyzing biomass into biochar may seem narrow, our goals are far-reaching. To make the deepest impact, this is where we’ve chosen to focus our skills and attention. But at the same time, we are mindful of the whole wide range of Sustainable Development Goals. We care about creating sustainable communities, and we are passionate about eliminating hunger and poverty. We’re equally conscious of quality education, gender equality, and affordable energy. But you could say that solving the climate crisis is our guiding star.