Photo: Courtesy of Craig Cohon

In January this year, a man set out on a mission. On the way from Europe to Asia, he will not try to convert you to a new religion, but he will preach a new view of the carbon footprint each of us leaves behind. His name is Craig Cohon, and as we write this text, he is in Serbia, one of the legs of his six-month journey to undo the carbon emissions he left behind during his lifetime. Craig was born in 1963 and has released 8,147 tons of carbon into the atmosphere. 

This Canadian businessman lives in London, where he started his journey to walk 4,000 kilometers. The plan is to arrive at his destination in Istanbul on June 5, his 60th birthday, also World Environment Day. 

Every day, Craig walks 25 kilometers to manage to visit France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey by the deadline. Turning back his carbon clock isn’t Craig’s only goal. In this campaign called Walk it Back, in which he has invested more than a million dollars, he has placed all his hopes, believing it will encourage many similar activities and initiatives to cancel no less than 100,000 tons of carbon.

The goal is clear; we must remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as we have released into it. That’s why Craig talks to activists, government representatives, policymakers, and all interested actors in the field of environmental protection on his journey to light a spark from which self-aware interlocutors will succeed in igniting numerous proposals and ways to remove carbon.


The story of Craig Cohon

Due to the nature of the work, Cohan traveled around the world for years, and thirteen years ago, he moved to a barge anchored on the banks of the river Thames. Last year, he reviewed its lifetime carbon consumption following the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). He is the first natural person who calculated to the smallest detail how many tons of carbon he emitted during his busy lifestyle (travels, vacations, numerous airplane flights and eating hamburgers). That’s why he paid off his debt to the planet last November by donating over USD 1 million from his retirement fund to carbon elimination projects.

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (yohan marion)

“Like many people of my generation, I had no idea for years about the dangers of climate change. However, when I learned that not all the carbon we emitted during our lifetimes was eliminated, I began investigating how this could still be achieved. I discovered that it is possible to remove huge amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, but it requires a lot of goodwill and investment. Technology is constantly being improved, but we must be faster and better at applying it. If we succeed in this, we will probably change the course of climate history,” Cohon points out.

He supports his position with the fact that since 1860 we have released two trillion carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s why Craig is investing in new technologies that will suck up large amounts of carbon, including his 8,147 tons.

Craig accompanies the truck on its journey, where it interactively presents solutions that can help remove carbon dioxide.

Prepared by: Milica Radičević

Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION