Maldives find a new black gold
For Craig Sams, life is sweet. The entrepreneur, who with co-founder Jo Fairley sold the Green & Black’s organic chocolate firm to Cadbury for a reputed £20m, has founded a biochar business, and his firm is about to announce its first deal with the government of the Maldives.
Carbon Gold, Sams’s new company, is to develop biochar projects on three islands in the Maldives, taking waste from agriculture and fishing and turning it into charcoal by roasting it in a low-oxygen atmosphere. The process turns waste into raw carbon, which can then be used to fertilise the soil.
If the trials work out, similar projects could be started on many more of the 200 or so inhabited islands in the archipelago, all part of the Maldives government’s plan to make the islands carbon-neutral by 2020.
A controversial element of the scheme is to use it to generate so-called carbon credits. These are UN-backed certificates that confirm a tonne of carbon dioxide has been prevented from entering the atmosphere, and which can be sold to other countries to offset their emissions. Carbon Gold is working with the Maldives on a plan to sell them to tourists who want to compensate for the carbon dioxide generated by their flights to the holiday destination. More