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The Top 10 Carbon videos everyone should watch

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By illuminem

· 6 min read

If you were looking for our Top 10 carbon articles, please click here.

We are glad to present the recommended Top 10 essential videos on Carbon that any “professional” (or person interested in the topic) should watch.

At illuminem, we take pride in calling ourselves the “Home” of Sustainability and support our community with quality information and resources to improve our climate knowledge and stay updated on the latest sustainability developments.

So, why is it important to understand carbon and its markets? Carbon emissions are today the most discussed metric in the climate change debate, and carbon knowledge is key to developing business strategies or government policies addressing the environmental crisis. This list provides a comprehensive overview of key aspects in the carbon debate, including: carbon accounting, offsetting, carbon markets, CCS, carbon removal, carbon-neutral fuels, zero carbon, and carbon neutrality.

1. The carbon cycle is key to understanding climate change

Source: The Economist
Date: June 2020
Knowledge level: Beginner 💨

This educational video from The Economist introduces what carbon dioxide is, and how human activity has disrupted its balance in the Earth's atmosphere. What can be done to restore it?

2. Watch one year of carbon emissions take over the planet

Source: TIME
Date: June 2023
Knowledge level: Beginner 💨

37 billion tons is the amount of fossil-fuel-related carbon dioxide humans release into the atmosphere every year. This short clip from TIME allows us to see the damage carbon does, everywhere - from heat waves to floods to droughts to wildfires and more.

3. Why tracking carbon emissions is suddenly a billion dollar opportunity

Source: CNBC
Date: September 2021
Knowledge level: Beginner 💨

The video from CNBC highlights the difficulty in tracking carbon emissions and why it has been historically the case. Also, it sparks the debate on the geography of carbon accounting: what is the reason for the U.S. lagging behind Europe in terms of carbon & sustainability reporting, and how can to circumvent this problem?

4. Carbon offsets: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Source: Last Week Tonight
Date: August 2022
Knowledge level: Intermediate 🏭

The famous British frontman John Oliver explains to the general public what carbon offsets are and what they claim to do. This episode represented the most seen criticism of carbon offset, and how (according to the author) they might be making climate change even worse.

For a response from leading carbon reduction certifier Verra, please see here.

5. How do carbon markets work?

Source: The Economist
Date: October 2021
Knowledge level: Beginner 💨

Carbon markets help regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting a cap on total emissions and allowing companies to buy/sell emission allowances, creating a financial incentive for emission reduction. In theory, putting a price on carbon emissions should incentivise businesses to stop polluting. This guiding content helps us understand the logic, advantages and shortcomings of the carbon market. One question: why have carbon markets failed to achieve their goal of reducing global emissions?

6. Carbon capture: the hopes, challenges and controversies

Source: Financial Times
Date: April 2022
Knowledge level: Intermediate 🏭

Another pillar of the carbon debate, the development of carbon capture and storage (abbreviated CCS) is presented by the Financial Times. Why has CCS become a key part of decarbonisation plans across the world? The inquiry examines firstly why, according to the CCS proponents, we need to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow down global warming. In the second part, CCS is instead seen through a critical lens: CCS means for big polluters to carry on business as normal.

7. Carbon capture technology explained

Source: Freethink
Date: October 2019
Knowledge level: Beginner 💨

Independent media Freethink realized a guide to visualise how much carbon dioxide we deposit into the atmosphere, and what scientists are doing to extract carbon dioxide from the air in order to achieve future ‘carbon neutrality’. Is carbon tech a scientific possibility or an inflated dream?

8. The truth about carbon-neutral fuels

Source: DW Planet A
Date: April 2022
Knowledge level: Intermediate 🏭

Carbon neutral fuels, or synthetic fuels, are explained by this documentary of Deutsche Welle. In the story, the car industry is portrayed as intended to save its commercial interests over its social responsibility. “Big Auto”, threatened by new electric vehicle entrants, wants to “save” its value chain based on combustion engine betting on synthetic fuels. Synthetic fuels are thus being hailed as being carbon neutral and the quickest way to get old cars off fossil fuels. However, the video dives into why synthetic fuels are not the grace the industry is looking for. Are carbon-neutral fuels the worst way to decarbonize individual transport?

9. The climate crisis: towards zero carbon

Source: University of Cambridge
Date: February 2020
Knowledge level: Beginner 💨

The esteemed University of Cambridge reminds the world that forests burn, glaciers melt and one million species face extinction. Can we humans save the planet from ourselves? In its film, the greatest environmental journalists Sir David Attenborough and Dr Jane Goodall, alongside leading Cambridge University researchers, introduce the concept of “zero carbon” by explaining the urgency of the climate crisis and our solutions.

10. This country isn't just carbon neutral - it's carbon negative

Source: TED | Tshering Tobgay
Date: April 2016
Knowledge level: Intermediate 🏭

The former Prime Minister of Bhutan, Tshering Tobgay, explains how his nation has pledged to remain carbon neutral for all time. In this illuminating TED talk, he shares Bhutan’s “carbon neutrality” mission. By doing so, the nation pledges to put happiness before economic growth and set a world standard for environmental preservation.

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To read more about Carbon from our Sustainability Thought Leaders, click here. To delve deeper into the world of Carbon, visit our carbon capture & storage, carbon market, and carbon removal pages.

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