A large majority now understands that climate change is real. A growing minority knows that it is THE existential threat, and feel despair at the failure of government and society to address it.
There are three ways that even a small minority can get leverage in a capitalist system:
1. Consumer behavior / public opinion
2. Business / corporate response
3. Investor direction / investment
Even where senior corporate managers and investors understand the need for action, demand from consumers is also required to allow them to act.
A small base of consumers, especially one that also includes highly-educated and high income members of society, can change the behavior of major corporations at the right moment.
To be effective, an objective mechanism that prevents green-washing and forces commitment to real action and quantitative measures of actual performance is also required.
Carbon Path is a way for those who do understand how urgent the climate situation is to do something effective to take the lead, change the market and ultimately change the way society responds.
We can create facts on the ground, push leading corporations to take a meaningful stand, and then bring investors and investment managers on-board to help change the landscape for screened portfolios of publicly traded companies.
National governments may follow, but they are clearly not going to take the lead.
Many local and regional governments are stepping up, but do not have the leverage needed by themselves.
Carbon Path links an aspirational commitment to a binding pledge to quantitative measurement of performance. It links marketing to measurement.
The Carbon Path is the process whereby we move through a series of successively more challenging goals, to arrive at a livable future together.
A Climate Pledge is a short simple sentence whereby each entity commits to achieve a specific goal by a specific date.
There are 3 goals:
1. Carbon Neutral
2. 100% Clean Energy
3. Carbon Negative
And a range of dates at five year intervals:
2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040, 2045 & 2050
Each Pledge is cryptographically signed and recorded on a clean simple blockchain
A number of state governments and over 100 cities in the US have committed to 2045.
To stay below 1.5°C major corporations will need to end their fossil emissions by 2030.
Carbon Path is the process whereby we move from inaction and denial, through a series of successively more realistic and challenging goals, to arrive at a livable future together.
Corporations sign a Climate Pledge to show their commitment and connect directly with customers who care.
Individuals can also sign a Climate Pledge themselves to assert personal leadership and commitment.
Each individual can choose to communicate with any of the entities that have signed, including businesses, governments and NGOs using any JLINC-enabled app or website hosted by any participating entity.
JLINC provides individual control over personal data privacy. This creates a new trust-based communications channel on the Internet for individuals with all of the organizations that sign a Pledge.
Carbon Supply Chain
Each party that signs a pledge can adopt carbon supply chain tools, which help them understand their own performance and will ultimately allow all parties to measure and document their own carbon footprint.
Each company that implements carbon supply chain reporting can provide carbon reports to businesses and consumers who purchase from them. For that reporting to be fully validated it must extend all the way up each branch of the supply chain. Enterprises pay the large majority of the cost for reporting provided to their customers.
Investors can obtain summary audits for participating businesses that choose to make them available.
Carbon Data Exchange
The key to supply chain accounting is the mechanism for automating verified data exchange between databases owned and controlled by different companies.
JLINC automates permissioned data exchange between databases with an audit trail that can be recorded to multiple locations including any database, log, ledger or blockchain. JLINC is neither a blockchain, nor an ICO, and is not selling a token or attempting to create or monetize a carbon credit market.
Carbon data exchange provides quantitative reporting for climate in parallel with financial reporting. Carbon supply chain accounting is measured in fossil CO2 and in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) and operated by a public benefit corporation.
Carbon footprint is made up of 3 categories:
1. Energy: heating, cooling, electricity & transport
2. Land use: food, fiber & forestry
3. Manufactured products & construction
Each category represents a branching tree, where each branch is itself some combination of the same 3 inputs, which together make up all components of any supply chain.
Energy is largely composed of direct energy inputs, with a small contribution from manufactured infrastructure for energy delivery. However, as we rapidly move toward renewables and storage, the carbon emissions from their manufacture also has to be considered and allocated in a constant manner.
Land use and agriculture may remain the most challenging area for change. The CO2 equivalent climate contribution from industrial agriculture may be on a par with energy use for many households. The CO2 from ammonia fertilizer production, CO2e from NOx emissions due to fertilizer use, as well as methane from cattle, plus the release of carbon due to tilling soils all add up to a huge problem. In the more extreme cases, destruction of tropical forests for cattle production or palm oil, are even more damaging to the climate. On the other-hand, regenerative agricultural and livestock practices as well as reforestation can actually remove and store net carbon. So, interoperable audited carbon supply chain reporting and accounting for land use is crucial.
Manufactured products, including everything from cell phones to buildings, generally include a mixture of all three components, which together represent the total embodied carbon in each product. True closed loop reuse and recycling, not of packaging, which actually needs to be largely eliminated, but of the product components themselves, is the only real solution. While new breakthroughs in building materials, such as carbon negative concrete, could actually make construction a way to remove and store net carbon as well.
Energy is already undergoing a rapid transformation where solar and batteries are following a price reduction path similar to computer chips. Solar PV with batteries are cheaper than coal and rapidly out-competing natural gas. Solar has been growing at 33% a year over the past 7 years and now exceeds 2% of global electricity production. If it continues to grow at that rate solar will exceed global electricity production in 2032, and all of projected global energy consumption in 2038! This is at odds with all official projections, but so was actual cell phone adoption. It is not impossible, and some argue inevitable within maybe more like two decades.
And none of that includes wind, lighting or efficiency, which are also growing exponentially. Lithium-ion battery storage is also following a rapid growth curve and low-cost electric vehicles will drastically reduce the demand for gasoline within a few years, while electric heat pumps will out-compete heating oil and soon even natural gas.
Whatever the exact timing, it does not require much demand destruction to seriously depress oil prices. As fossil prices continue to fall, making tar sands and then all unconventional oil, worthless stranded assets, the fossil interests that have been funding political disinformation will finally collapse and the growing cost of catastrophic disasters, hurricanes, droughts, fires, floods, and freak storms will increasingly be reported in a climate context.
Once one understands that renewable energy is going to make it not only possible, but inevitable, for some sectors to end their carbon emissions long before 2030 – because it is more profitable. It becomes easier to see how a sequence of pledges can work. For example, in April 2018, Apple announced that the corporation, and 23 of its largest suppliers, have already committed to 100% renewable energy. Bosch recently announced that it will be carbon neutral next year, in 2020!
Many people feel helpless, disempowered and increasingly frightened by climate chaos. Signing petitions often only seems to lead to more spam asking for donations. US national politics leaves those in many states with little opportunity for a voice. And yet, much of our behavior is driven by our social context. People save water by letting their lawns go brown when their neighbors do the same. And they do it faster when they are celebrated for it. Social signals are often more powerful than economic interest, and we respond to feedback. We get better at what we pay attention to, and especially what we pay attention to together.
Consumers can share their commit to do business with companies that sign a pledge. Companies in high tech and consumer products that already know that they can do it will be the first to make the most aggressive commitments. This creates an opt-in marketing vehicle, first for leading brands and then for companies in other sectors, such as manufacturing, agriculture and forestry to begin to distinguish themselves from their backward competitors.
Investors see improved financial performance from companies that rapidly decarbonize, as efficiency replaces on-going expenses for fossil inputs, and increases consumer loyalty. Investment managers can offer retail investors meaningful screened portfolio products composed of public companies that have made the commitment and demonstrated performance on carbon. Pension funds and BlackRock follow. The rest is history.