LIFE CarbonFarming – Shaping regulation through human rights

When it comes to human rights, our competence in the most salient topics within our value chain has matured during 2021. We acknowledge that we are nowhere near perfect. Nevertheless, the people who work within our organization are committed to making a change and proud of being part of a journey as momentous as the energy transition.

Furthermore, we have unassumingly emphasized the urgent need for a regulatory approach to social sustainability. We want to drive forward the guiding future legislation within new fields such as carbon sequestration and related market activities. Building a better future is one of our core values and we are proud, yet humbled, to see that our guidance is being taken into consideration on such an important topic.

Read also: Fit for the future

The Life Carbon Farming project has received funding from the LIFE Preparatory Programme of the European Union. LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the European Union. Preparatory projects address specific needs for the development and implementation of EU environmental policy and law.

Our role as a project coordinator in the LIFE project has allowed us to consider how human rights should be taken into consideration in carbon sequestration schemes at the EU level. Together with our partners within LIFE, we see that it is also our duty to raise such an important issue as it should be included as a criterion for further regulatory development.

LIFE as a project aims to build unified rules for a carbon credit market. Though environmental impacts are in focus, especially from the agricultural perspective, we often find ourselves forgetting the impact on people. We at St1 have been in talks with our project partners to make human rights part of the agenda once they have been introduced into legislation.

We want to be proactively involved in the development of future criteria for legislative frameworks. We also want to emphasize the importance of linking the social license to operate with the integration of human rights into business practices. Stable and predictable regulations are essential for the development of the carbon sequestration market.

The LIFE CarbonFarmingScheme aims to create common grounds for incentivizing sustainable carbon sequestration projects. We believe that such nature-based solutions are necessary to mitigate climate change. However, to increase their adoption, new incentive models must be developed. Although we see immense potential here, we must also emphasize the need for more robust regulation to track carbon credits and that sustainable practices must take human rights due diligence into account.

“The LIFE project is a crucial part of St1’s energy transition. It is Influencing frontline work because we are investigating issues that can have an impact on the EU level assessment. It is challenging and it has taken a lot of effort, but we have learned a lot. And even though environmental matters are our highest priority we also want to highlight the importance of social issues regarding human rights,” said Kirsi Tiusanen, carbon sequestration expert.

In close collaboration with Enact, we have developed internal tools and models to monitor the impact on social matters. In addition, we recognize the urgency to better understand our impact on biodiversity as we are still learning how to minimize our impact on the environment from a biodiversity point of view.

“Despite the rigidness of the fossil fuel industry, I do not see why we should not try to influence and inspire others to build a better future through projects such as LIFE. We know we still have a long way to go at St1, but in the meantime we can help shape the future that awaits us,” comments Jenni Strengell, Head of Sustainability.

Read more here or www.st1.com/st1-life.

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