2020 is here. And the gravity of the decade and this moment in history seems to be weighing heavily on us as individuals and as a collective. The year feels momentous and many are hoping it marks a turning point in the direction of our mankind and our planet.
In the face of the ongoing climate change debate and the natural disasters happening all around us, we must act—and we must act now. We at V2G Clarity are going beyond ‘hoping’ and taking serious action this year. We owe it to ourselves, our planet, future generations, and the billions of plants and animals whose habitats are systematically being destroyed by climate change. Read on to find out what we’re doing and how you can join us.
Literally and figuratively, we have seen an unprecedented amount of physical fires and political unwillingness to take responsible action in the last few decades. This has allowed global warming to sneak by and intensify at an alarming rate, unhindered thanks to the inaction of inept and selfish politicians worldwide.
During this time, wildfires are just one of the natural phenomena that have worsened. When the Amazon rainforest caught fire last January, 906,000 hectares burned. Last July, 2.6 million hectares were turned to ash across the Siberian steppe. And this was just the beginning:
In her now world-renown speech at the Davos 2019 World Economic Forum, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said, “Act as if our house is on fire, because it is”. She cited the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report that states that we are less than 12 years away from the point of no return. With wildfires ravaging our planet and only worsening by the day, the time to take concrete action has never been more urgent.
Last year, the IPCC released a special report on the implications of 1.5°C of global warming, entitled Summary for Policymakers. This report was a collaboration of 91 key authors from 44 citizenships and 40 countries of residence, with contributions from 133 authors and over 6,000 cited references. The report also amassed 42,001 expert and government review comments.
Naomi Klein’s book, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, dives into the IPCC special report. Here is an excerpt adapted from her introduction and epilogue.
The report examined the implications of keeping the increase in planetary warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7°F). Given the worsening disasters we are already seeing with about 1°C of warming, it found that keeping temperatures below the 1.5°C threshold is humanity’s best chance of avoiding truly catastrophic unraveling.
Doing that would be extremely difficult. According to the UN World Meteorological Organization, we are on a path to warming the world by 3–5°C by the end of the century. To keep the warming below 1.5°C would require, the IPCC authors found, cutting global emissions approximately in half in a mere twelve years and getting to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Not just in one country but in every major economy. And because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has already dramatically surpassed safe levels, it would also require drawing a great deal of that down, whether through unproven and expensive carbon-capture technologies or the old-fashioned ways: by planting billions of trees and other carbon-sequestering vegetation.
Pulling off this high-speed pollution phaseout, the report establishes, is not possible with singular technocratic approaches like carbon taxes, though those tools must play a part. Rather, it requires deliberately and immediately changing how our societies produce energy, how we grow our food, how we move around, and how our buildings are constructed. What is needed, the report’s summary states in its first sentence, is ‘rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.’ The report examined the implications of keeping the increase in planetary warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7°F). Given the worsening disasters we are already seeing with about 1°C of warming, it found that keeping temperatures below the 1.5°C threshold is humanity’s best chance of avoiding truly catastrophic unraveling.
As abysmal as this all sounds, there is a way to help our planet. Klein spells it out clearly for us: we must take action into our own hands in both innovative and clear cut ways.
With the 12-year countdown to the point of no return in full effect, I as an individual and business owner decided to look into ways that we at V2G Clarity could expand our impact. That’s how I found the Eden Reforestation Projects. Eden is a non-profit with the clear goal of reestablishing natural landscapes that have been destroyed by deforestation. Eden works with villagers and communities in developing countries who are facing the extreme poverty that results from deforestation and losing the land that had sustained them for centuries.
Eden’s approach is to hire local villagers across the globe to replant their own forests, planting millions of trees every month. For as little as 10 cents per tree, Eden guarantees that they will plant, grow, and guard each tree to maturity. The result? A healthy and native forest and armies of trees to help combat global warming.
All of Eden’s work is funded by donations from individuals, groups, and eco-conscious businesses. Eden manages 82 project sites spread across Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Nepal. As of this publication, they have planted over 250 million trees since their inception in 2004. Eden isn’t messing around: they endeavour to expand to many more countries, with the goal of planting billions of trees every month and “to offer a life-transforming wage to tens of thousands of villagers in countries where poverty is rampant”, according to their website.
The company’s videos speak for themselves and show the authenticity of the mission. Here, Eden’s founder and CEO Dr. Stephen Fitch highlights their 2019 achievements.
Dr. Stephen Fitch highlights Eden's 2019 achievements
By hiring local villagers, Eden is not only alleviating poverty but also confronting these major issues head-on:
Countries like Haiti have suffered from years of ecological devastation leading to crop failure, flooding, soil erosion, and food insecurity for the population. Now, thanks to Eden, farmers and families are receiving agroforestry trees (e.g. avocado, cacao, breadfruit, grapefruit, key lime, orange, and apricot) that will allow them to plant and provide food for their families.
One of Eden’s goals is for Haitians is to sell food from these trees as an additional source of income. In fact, 10% of the trees planted through Eden projects are agroforestry species to ensure food security for local communities.
But planting trees alone is not enough. With locals often at a loss for how to feed themselves and their families, they often turn to destroying their own forests. This makes guarding trees an immensely important element of Eden’s mission. Having a steady income allows Eden’s employees to afford medical care, pay off debt, start microenterprises, and more.
It’s one thing to plant a tree. But if you plant a tree and leave it, that tree most likely will not survive.
Jamie Shattenberg, International Director for Madagascar, explained in this powerful video
Think about the magnitude of this combination: alleviating poverty and mitigating climate change at the same time. This concept holds the potential to prevent waves of climate refugees fleeing their home countries due to economic despair and uninhabitable lands.
As Naomi Klein stated in her book:
This is a crisis overwhelmingly created by the wealthiest strata of society: almost 50 percent of global emissions are produced by the richest 10 percent of the world’s population; the wealthiest 20 percent are responsible for 70 percent. But the impacts of those emissions are hurting the poorest first and worst, forcing growing numbers of people to move, with many more on the way. A 2018 World Bank study estimates that by 2050, more than 140 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America will be displaced because of climate stresses, an estimate many consider conservative.
Naomi Klein in "On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal"
We believe that the Eden Reforestation Projects provides a sound and equitable solution to this concerning trend. Take a look at their 2018 Annual Report (2019 Annual Report coming up soon) to see how the donations were used to foster success stories around the globe.
Since the launch of V2G Clarity in 2016, our steadfast mission has been to help bring convenient, secure, and user-friendly electric vehicle charging to a global audience. We see ourselves as an integral part of the electric vehicle ecosystem. Our role is to support EV manufacturers, charging infrastructure operators, and our colleagues in associated services industries. What drives us is the vision that one day, there will be no more fossil-fuelled cars allowed on the streets. And eventually, there will be electric airplanes too! Undoubtedly, we have a long way to go. But we hope that our work as a company and collectively in the EV-community is paving the way to make this future into a reality.
Recently, we realised that being one of the forefront educational resources in the industry isn’t enough. To maximise our impact, we decided to partner with Eden Reforestation Projects to support their work worldwide. As of January 2020, V2G Clarity has signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating that we will donate 5% of all monthly net income to the Eden Reforestation Projects. This will come from all income-generating activities, including sales of the ISO 15118 Manual, online courses, live trainings, consulting, or future software and hardware products currently in our pipeline.
This action means the V2G Clarity community will collectively make an even bigger impact on carbon emissions worldwide. We will combine planting trees with all of our hard engineering work to bring electric vehicles to a wider audience around the globe.
Are you interested in joining this mission? Your company, too, can sign up for a partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects. Together, we can make our impact that much greater.
Unfortunately, we cannot rely on our governments to do the right thing. This is something we have witnessed throughout 2019 and, in all honesty, for the last many decades. Despite the wake-up call of the Fridays for Future movement, initiated by Greta Thunberg, we still see the majority of governments failing to execute.
In the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, we as a global collective committed to heavily reduce CO2 emissions and reach the 1.5°C goal. Yet, there are still many disappointing examples of political unwillingness to act on behalf of the planet, such as (but not limited to):
In the face of the global pandemic of wildfires and other international environmental disasters—mixed with the political ineptitude in taking any rational action—it has never been more important for us to take individual and community-wide action. Perhaps you can join together with others in your company or organization to figure out some massive action that you can take. After all, it is within the collective that the true power lies.
Whether you join me by donating to Eden Reforestation Projects or find other ways of making a meaningful impact, it’s up to you. Either way: the time is now. Please, make a point to take tangible action today. And please share this article with your peers.
An e-book for beginners and experts alike. Reduces the steep learning curve of ISO 15118 by providing a comprehensive and easy-to-understand access to the Vehicle-to-Grid communication protocol. Written by our founder, one of the few co-authors of ISO 15118, this e-book has fast become standard literature in the industry.
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With OCPP 2.0.1 and the new device model concept, a station can automatically describe its full layout and capabilities to the cloud-based CSMS. This allows for plug-and-play installation of a charging station. It also lets the CSMS read and control any component remotely.
Sara stands for Station Analytics and Remote Administration
The Open Charge Alliance is the official body that specifies OCPP 2.0.1 and defines a set of certification profiles. Each profile tests a certain set of functionalities. Depending on the functionality of your charger or CSMS, you might want to certify for either a subset or all of these profiles.
Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)
Scotti stands for Simple Compliance Testing Tool for Interoperability.
Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) is a very compact representation of XML. All ISO 15118 messages are defined in XML. EXI improves serialisation and parsing speed on embedded devices (like an EV and a charging station controller) and allows more efficient use of memory and battery life, compared to standard (textual) XML.
The Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) is a lightweight, publish-subscribe network protocol that transports messages between devices.
A CSMS is a cloud-based management system operated by the company that is managing the charging stations. A charging station connects to a CSMS using OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol).
Automated Connection Device (ACD), a conductive charging concept that doesn't require a person to plug in the charging cable. A first implementation is ACD-P, where 'P' stands for 'pantograph' charging of buses.
Power line communication, a communication technology that enables sending data over existing power cables.
Signal Level Attenuation Characterisation (SLAC) is based on power line communication (specifically HomePlug Green PHY) and is a protocol to establish the data link between the EV and the charging station via the charging cable.
Charge Point Operator, the entity monitoring and managing an EV charger network.