A carbon reduction scheme enabling people to reduce their emissions and help poor communities suffering the worst effects of climate change, has been launched by Christian charity Tearfund.
It was developed by a former co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Sir John Houghton.
The online scheme, My Global Impact, enables people to work out the amount of carbon dioxide they are emitting, pledge to reduce their carbon footprint as far as possible, and then pay money into development projects helping people adapt to the ravages of climate change.
The money will also help start new projects to help poor communities develop in a sustainable way; using clean energy sources such as bio energy - (generating local energy through the use of waste like composting), solar and wind power.
"In the industrialised North we have become wealthy by burning coal, oil, and gas that is causing climate change. By reducing our emissions and sharing this wealth poor communities being hit by climate change can benefit," says Sir John Houghton.
Amounts paid depend upon how much each person’s emissions exceed a global per capita ‘share’ of carbon.
"There is tremendous potential for us to share what we have with those who have so little", adds Sir John. "Through this scheme, we will be able to help poor communities cope with the effects of climate change and develop using sustainable energy".
With its local partner organisations, Tearfund helps communities adapt to climate change as part of its development programmes.
Through the My Global Impact scheme projects will support more people to learn how to adapt to changes in the climate; for example, by gaining skills in new farming methods to cope with drought and soil erosion, or by harnessing rainwater to irrigate crops and provide drinking water where rains have become erratic.
It will also help in the preparation for future disasters; enabling communities to prepare for extreme weather events like floods or storms before they hit, such as building cyclone shelters.
"My Global Impact makes a start towards redressing the balance towards those whose lives are being turned upside down by climate change but who have contributed the least to it," says Sir John.
You can find My Global Impact online at: www.tearfund.org