The challenge of moving toward a low-carbon economy

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 Photo: Polar bear/ © NPS Climate Change ResponsePhoto: Polar bear/ © NPS Climate Change Response

By Lucía Martínez
Translation by Rebecca Neal
Although we almost always hear only about the negatives news concerning the advance of global warming and the ravages of climate change, there are some encouraging news worth celebrating and considering.
According to the UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System’s Green Finance Progress Report, published a couple of weeks ago, the issuance of green bonds doubled in 2016 to US$81 billion. In addition, global sustainably managed assets grew by around 25% between 2014 and 2016.
The members of the G20 and the international community have therefore made major progress in this area, committing to increased international cooperation and growing market leadership. “The G20 and others have set the wheels in motion. Now is the time to press hard on the accelerator,” states Eric Solheim, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
What can we do in the private sector for the country? One of the main challenges is undoubtedly the task of advancing toward a low-carbon economy that takes into account our planet’s natural capital. And one way of doing so is by contributing to carbon neutral programs, which allow us to offset our harmful emissions on the environment in the operation of our respective businesses.
Companies can contribute to sustainable development by measuring their environmental impact, because knowing their impact on the environment allows them to manage it - for example through internal programs and improvements in production processes - or by offsetting their carbon output, which permits the neutralization of the emissions and the environmental impact that the company has not been able to reduce.
In Chile, the possibility of offsetting emissions provides companies with a great opportunity to invest in the country, given our national geography and its unique ecosystems. However, the importance of protecting areas of immeasurable natural value, and the reduction of carbon emissions, should a corporate citizen responsibility that is fundamental to businesses at its core, and that in part, partially acts to restore the damage that we are doing to the planet.
Lucía Martínez is director of corporate affairs and natural sustainability for the Natura Cosmetics company.