The EUA’s chief executive, former UK international development minister, Mike Foster, said: “We have a moral duty to become net zero and it is also in our interest to do so. Climate change, if not addressed, will have catastrophic effects across the globe often hitting the poorest the hardest.
“Here in the UK, increased flooding, more ferocious storms, more frequent heatwaves all put extra strains on the sector, so we should be leading the way on climate change. Our members are at the forefront of heat and transport decarbonisation initiatives, leading on hydrogen and biomethane clean gases. But we emit carbon too. So, let’s set an example by dealing with it.
“EUA calculated its carbon footprint across the whole of 2019. A total of 51.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide was emitted. We then partnered with ‘The Gold Standard’ to purchase carbon offsets to achieve our net zero aims. EUA chose The Gold Standard as it guarantees that its carbon offsets achieve the highest level of environmental integrity and sustainable development.”
Mr Foster continued: “EUA chose to offset its own carbon emissions by supporting a project in Rwanda that provides clean, fuel efficient cooking stoves. This has enormous development co-benefits too.
“It often means women spend less time sourcing wood for cooking, creating time for girls to attend school. It improves indoor air quality as smoke is no longer polluting the air and it means fewer trees are felled providing the wood, which in turn keeps them absorbing carbon from the air.”
“These co-benefits are often over-looked by environmentalists keen to achieve Net Zero. As someone who has worked in the development space, I recognise the value that these carbon offsets bring.”
“While we work to reduce our carbon emissions, I am proud that we can still achieve Net Zero and bring environmentally sound and sustainable development to help some of the poorest people on our planet. If others did the same, what a difference we could make.”