CHOOOSE Interview

I was recently interviewed by Norwegian climate action start-up CHOOOSE, a company I advise on the intricacies of carbon offsets. Below is an excerpt. You can read the full interview here: https://chooose.today/lauren-gifford/

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 12.51.22 PM.png

How did you first become interested in carbon markets and geography? Was it something that called to you as a child? Do you remember the specific moment you saw this as your calling, so to speak?

In 2007 I began working on issues related to climate justice. This was the point when carbon markets were really emerging as a tool for climate change mitigation. I learned that there is a lot going on behind the scenes in global climate action, and that many of the policies and financial mechanisms are so complex that most people don’t fully understand them. At that point, I decided I wanted to focus on these complexities.

*

There is a lot of climate anxiety out there that makes people paralyzed in action. Do you have hope for our planet? If so, how would you encourage others to keep their hopes up too?

If we don’t have hope, what do we have? But I also think relying on hope is ineffective and dangerous when it comes to addressing climate change. We must truly acknowledge and accept that climate change is an urgent, all-encompassing, catastrophic environmental shift that is already underway. It’s not a joke, and it’s not something we can reverse with just positive ideals. But we need to find a balance. Sure, be hopeful, but we still need to make some great structural and institutional shifts.”

*

What is your favorite aspect about what you do?

To be able to think deeply about complex issues is a real privilege. I feel it’s my responsibility to share my knowledge with others to help ensure climate change is addressed in ways that are both effective, and don’t harm frontline communities—the folks feeling the effects of climate change first and most acutely. Humans are all experiencing climate change differently, and it’s important that we recognize this unevenness and do what we can to amplify the plight of those experiencing the impacts of climate change already. I am humbled to be able to contribute to this mission.