In collaboration with 180.Works, Notilyze participated in the Energy category of the 2023 SAS Hackathon. The team developed a dashboard that provides insights into the reduction of CO2 emissions that 180.Works has brought about through the installation of cookstoves. Through previous reports (1)(2), it has become apparent that transparency is still hard to come by in the field of carbon credits.
180.Works approaches the issue of deforestation from a different angle. Rather than protecting greenery, they chose to investigate the cause of the abundant need for wood in local areas of heavy deforestation. They found that today, over 2.4 billion people are still making use of open fires for their cooking needs. This is accompanied by high levels of wood consumption and the emission of not only CO2 but ‘black carbon’ as well, which gets produced as a direct result of the incomplete burning of wood and coal. Open-fire cooking therefore raises various environmental concerns. Apart from deforestation being a contributing factor to global CO2 emission, the accompanying carbon monoxide (CO) and black carbon are also cause for various health complications, resulting in approximately 4 million deadly victims each year (source: WHO).
180.Works developed a cookstove that can be assembled at any time with the use of local resources. It merely requires 26 stones, which can be formed by mixing loamy soil and water. Studies with these cookstoves have shown wood consumption to be reduced by up to 70%, consequently leading to a 70% decrease in both CO2 emissions and black carbon. There is a great incentive for reducing black carbon emissions: in 2019, approximately 5.8 million tons of black carbon was produced, alongside 37 billion tons of CO2. Even though the role of black carbon may seem less significant, in reality, one kilogram of black carbon generates the same greenhouse effect as 1500 kilograms of CO2, meaning that 5.8 million tons of black carbon is comparable to 8.7 billion tons of CO2. For this reason, some researchers consider black carbon to be the second most imperative type of greenhouse gas. About 50% of man-produced black carbon is produced by cooking (source). Therefore, a 70% reduction of emissions in this specific area alone would be significant.
When it comes to wood preservation, 180.Works strives for transparency and accuracy in the results. Temperature sensors that are installed onto the cookstoves monitor if and how often each cookstove is used. This data can be translated into measurements of wood preservation, which can then be used to calculate how much CO2 emission was prevented. During the 2023 SAS Hackathon, Notilyze assisted 180.Works in visualizing these findings for a subset of their sensors.
These insights can be shared with clients who are looking to invest in cookstoves and with stakeholders who are auditing the process. In this way, 180.Works aims to build a transparent and fair carbon credit system, in which the financial revenue generated from the saved carbon credits gets returned to those using the cookstoves. So apart from the significant climate and health benefits, this could additionally boost the local economy; essentially hitting three birds with one stone.
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