Dubai startup helps offset carbon emissions

Olive Gaea’s carbon offset platform helps both companies and people to balance out their carbon emissions

  
People wait for transportation at a bus stop as the city is hit by a sandstorm, in Beijing, China, March 15, 2021. In March, heavy sandstorms hit Beijing for the first time in six years, putting the country's reforestation efforts under scrutiny, with land increasingly scarce and trees no longer able to offset the impact of climate change. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins. Image used for illustrative purpose

People wait for transportation at a bus stop as the city is hit by a sandstorm, in Beijing, China, March 15, 2021. In March, heavy sandstorms hit Beijing for the first time in six years, putting the country's reforestation efforts under scrutiny, with land increasingly scarce and trees no longer able to offset the impact of climate change. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins. Image used for illustrative purpose

Dubai-based startup, Olive Gaea’s carbon offset platform helps both companies and people to balance out their carbon emissions. The startup calculates the carbon footprint of any individual or business through a simple yet science-based questionnaire, providing dedicated plans and a list of carbon offsetting solutions and verified climate projects.

Founders Vivek Tripathi and Apurva Bhandari help users to track progress and get rewarded driving more positive change through monthly and annual subscriptions. The platform allows customers to offset purchases made on e-commerce businesses including grocery orders, food and fuel delivery, and online stores, among others.

“Having the sixth largest per capita carbon footprint in the world, UAE residents and businesses will now be able to become carbon neutral or even carbon positive by removing their own carbon emissions from the atmosphere in just a couple of clicks,” said Vivek Tripathi, Founder, and CEO, Olive Gaea.

“Climate change is a real, urgent threat. We all share the responsibility to act in order to preserve our planet and, ultimately, our very future. The good news is that each one of us can now actually help solve this problem.”

Carbon footprint is a measure of GHG emissions released due to a particular activity, such as cooling your home, heating your lunch, or taking a flight from Dubai to London. Some of the activities, like producing phones, flying planes, or eating meat are particularly carbon-intensive. Staked together over a certain period of time, those activities make up your individual or business carbon footprint. Calculating your personal or business footprint is the first step to owning your climate story. Olive Gaea developed simple and accurate tools that let you find out the exact sources of emissions from your lifestyle and business operations and what can be done about them.

The startup is funded around $300,000 and is aiming to close seed funding of $1.8 million. The venture supports carbon offsetting projects that are handpicked and verified by third-party agencies like Verra and Plan Vivo. The platform is also powered by precise geo-tagging and QR code tracking, so users can know the exact location and the impact they help to generate with new plantation projects in just a few clicks.

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nearly 200 countries have endorsed the global goal of limiting the rise in average temperatures to 2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and ideally 1.5 degrees. To meet this target, global greenhouse-gas emissions should be cut by 50 per cent of current levels by 2030 and reduced to net-zero by 2050.

The UAE is one of the signatories of the Paris Agreement and has recently reaffirmed its goal to become a global leader in the green economy and address climate change. Having launched prominent strategic initiatives spanning from the National Agenda 2021 to the Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai 2040 Master plan, just to name a few, the country still faces an extremely high per capita carbon footprint.

The UAE residents, in fact, generate around 22 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually on average against a global average of 4.8 tonnes, way above the limit that would allow the world to meet the Paris Agreement’s targets and limit global warming.

Research shows that, alongside cutting CO2 emissions, carbon offsetting and voluntary carbon credits can help achieve the net-zero target by financing climate-action projects that generate additional benefits including biodiversity protection, pollution prevention, and local community support and development. According to the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM), the demand for carbon credits could increase 15 times or more in the next decade, pushing the global carbon credit market’s value to no less than $50 billion by 2030

“We shall focus on expanding into all emirates starting from Dubai and to various business segments in UAE in 2021. This shall help us templatise the growth model that shall be adopted for other Mena countries. We have plans to expand to KSA, Qatar, and Kuwait market in 2022,” concluded Tripathi.

 

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