Ahead of COP27, we talk with Adam Bialachowski (AB), CEO of B-Act Quantum Vintage Consulting in Poland, about the challenges involved in making good carbon decisions.
IG: As COP 27 focuses attention on practical climate actions and outcomes, are we making sufficient progress on meeting global and local ambitions for decarbonisation?
AB: ”Despite the continuous increase in public awareness of a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, we are still not making sufficient progress toward our goal.
“We still do not sufficiently promote investment in green infrastructure in tenders and public investments. Also, increased participation of private companies in the design and construction of green infrastructure can accelerate decarbonisation, which will undoubtedly be associated with increased economic progress.
“Moreover, we can see a constant conflict between the money spent on climate-friendly investments now and its value in the years to come.”
IG: Who or what are the key barriers or ‘blockers’ to faster climate action?
AB: “Key barriers to faster climate action include the extent of knowledge within public institutions in general, and lack of resources in developing countries.
“It should be pointed out here that in developing countries, for example, when one is to decide on investing in the construction of a water supply systems or not, the key decision item is cost in the here and now, and the supply of clean water – not the carbon footprint of the initiative. That it is only natural and in-line with the Maslow Pyramid of Needs.
“Financial institutions like the multilateral development banks should focus, as they are trying to do, on helping these countries in terms of implementing new projects that can use environmentally-friendly tools and materials. Developed countries that have gone the same way can afford to invest in green solutions.”
IG: How important is it that we establish comprehensive and trusted carbon calculation across every part of the infrastructure industry?
AB: “It is undoubtedly important to establish operational and comprehensive carbon calculations for the infrastructure industry. This means introducing such calculations that clearly show all the costs that countries are incurring in 2022 – and that they will incur in the coming years – in the fight to reduce the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“What the costs will look like, but also what the long-term gains will be in focusing on green infrastructure investments, is crucial.”
IG: What is the single most significant action available to the industry to achieve climate ambitions?
AB: “A significant measure for the industry to achieve its climate ambitions is to increase investment using renewable energy sources. Here we can mention offshore wind farms, photovoltaic farms, hydroelectric power plants and geothermal.
“Therefore, the first common ground between developed and developing countries should be cooperation in the implementation of these investments.”