To achieve the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, every action is important. That’s why Volkswagen Group will launch specific climate protection projects in tropical areas, in partnership with Permian Global.
The targets are well-known: by 2050 Volkswagen Group aims to become carbon neutral and by 2025 wants to reduce the carbon footprint of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 30 percent compared to 2015. The Group is systematically following three principles in doing so. First: reduce CO2 as much as possible, in an effective and sustainable way. Second: switch energy supply to renewable energies. Third: compensate for unavoidable emissions.
When it comes to the last point in particular, the Group has signed a significant agreement in recent weeks for the joint development of climate protection projects. It is partnering with Permian Global, a company based in the UK but with an international team that works with governments and local communities across Asia, Latin America and Africa to drive the large-scale recovery and protection of natural tropical forests while maintaining biodiversity and supporting local economic growth.
The first projects to come out of the collaboration are to involve tropical forests and will be developed in the second half of 2020.
Following the appropriate local inspections, the first step will be to avoid deforestation in several areas and begin to restore the endangered forests. This will mean more plants locking away carbon and, after the relevant certification, the delivery of carbon credits that will be used to compensate for the currently unavoidable CO2 emissions from the supply chain, production and logistics of vehicles.
“It’s an important element of our climate protection strategy”, explains Ralf Pfitzner, Head of Sustainability at the Volkswagen Group. “The planned projects focus on the protection of endangered forests in the tropics and subtropics. Protecting and expanding these very effective natural CO2 sinks is an important task, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has emphasised”.
“Healthy natural forests provide myriad benefits to people and the broader environment. This includes the capacity to sequester and store enormous amounts of carbon. Given the urgency and the scale of the climate crisis, it is vital that industry leaders, such as Volkswagen Group, become the driving forces of positive change”, added Stephen Rumsey, Chairman of Permian Global.
Asia and South America
Volkswagen Group and Permian Global will initially develop projects on a total area of one million hectares in South America and Asia. Threatened tropical forests will be protected and restored and local communities will benefit in the long term through sustainable alternatives to deforestation. Biodiversity will be preserved and at the same time a contribution will be made to overcoming the climate crisis.
The projects will also support achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All projects will be independently audited and certified according to the highest standards – in particular the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB) or Gold Standard.