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Cambridge Centre for Carbon Credits (4C)


Prof Keshav, one of the directors of 4C, has spent the past decade reducing the carbon cost of energy, buildings and transport. But that's only part of the puzzle: we still need to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

In this video, Keshav explains how forestry and nature-based solutions are a 'two-for-one', supporting biodiversity as well as removing carbon from the air.

This was part of a series by the University of Cambridge featuring research to accelerate the rapid transition to a zero-emissions economy.

Keshav explains that at 4C, we focus on nature-based solutions [such as forestry] as opposed to technology-intensive solutions. Our technology is working to measure and account for the amount of carbon dioxide taken up by tropical rainforest through the whole ecosystem, whether that's by creating and restoring rainforests, or by avoiding deforestation in the first place.

"These are trees: they've been around for a couple of billion years! What we're doing is to see the role that avoided deforestation plays in both promoting biodiversity and reducing the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It's a two-for-one."

Our work is driven by a desire to create real change, using the University's position outside the corporate world to be a neutral, trusted, third party.

"Over the years the role of the university in the university has changed, from being a place primarily of instruction to one of research -- and in some sense activism to cause societal change," says Keshav.

"Our research is helping to create a system which funnels funds from from corporations -- from rich people essentially -- to people who can really use those to make a real change in the world. It cannot be done by a private party. It has to be done by a third party -- a neutral party -- and the university is the best possible locus for this research."

"That's why it's important for Cambridge: it's important for the world."

Professor Srinivasan Keshav, from the Department of Computer Science and Technology, focuses on reducing the carbon footprint of energy generation, transportation, and buildings. He has recently been studying digital monitoring, reporting, and verification for trustworthy carbon credits, especially from avoided deforestation.

This profile of Keshav is part of a series featuring Cambridge researchers who are developing solutions for the energy transition. From semi-conductors for solar cells to decarbonising lorries, to sustainable agriculture and agroforestry.