Offsetting Our Plant Emissions
Please note that this is only a tentative idea of how we plan to offset all the carbon emissions from our intended plant. A more specific plan of what exactly we will do to make our plant’s overall work green, will be determined in the development process.
For example, depending on how much support we raise for this plant, we could install a 500 kW – 1,000 kW solar system which would cut our energy needs by at least 50%, reducing our emissions by a good margin, and this would require of us at least $600k.
Altogether, the carbon emissions from our intended plant shall be offset in 2 ways:
1). Green energy:
This will determined in the development process of our plant, as described above.
2). Afforestation and reforestation:
Recently, a global campaign launched at the World Economic Forum with the goal of planting one trillion trees by the end of the decade (i.e. by 2030) put it that a bold endeavor like that has the potential to save the planet, and to slow climate change — as mentioned in TIME. Moreover, in a setting like ours, trees also play a very big role in the livelihoods of the poor, from improving food security to protecting watersheds.
Carbon sequestration programs, of which afforestation/reforestation is perhaps the commonest, are also part of the “Clean Development Mechanism” or the “Voluntary Emission Reduction” schemes that were established by the Kyoto Protocol in 2005.
Therefore, alongside the fruit saplings that our intended plant will raise and give out to all the farmers participating in our project, we will also raise several species of multipurpose, fast-growing leguminous trees (like albizia, grilicidia and calliandra) that farmers will integrate in their gardens via alley-cropping, as well as native, hardwood trees (Mahogany, Maesopsis, Teak etc) that farmers will grow as separate woodlots.
These trees will help enhance soils through nitrogen fixation, provide animal fodder, firewood, and most importantly, help offset all the carbon emissions from our plant.
To run our reforestation work, we will use two approaches:
1) we will establish a community reforestation center in each catchment area, e.g. in each sub county, for farmers living there. A community reforestation center will be a place for farmers in that area to learn about agroforestry, and to get inputs, all free.
2). we will run a tree seed program that will source and supply seed, and other agroforestry resources, such as agroforestry manuals — from places like the Uganda National Forestry Authority, as well as from local and international environmental organizations — to local community groups, schools, and other local reforesters.