Gabon Shakes Emerging Debt-for-Nature Swap Market

The recent coup in Gabon has sent shockwaves through the financial world, particularly affecting an innovative debt-for-nature swap deal. 

Just two weeks before the political turmoil, Bank of America Corp. had finalized a $500 million agreement with Gabon. The African nation had agreed to undertake marine conservation efforts in return for more favorable loan terms.

Debt-for-nature or climate swaps are deals that allow a country to restructure its debt at a lower interest rate or for longer repayment periods. And that’s in exchange for the debtor’s commitment to fund conservation or climate-related initiatives.

The Safety Net 

The Gabon deal was unique because it included a political risk insurance contract from the US International Development Finance Corp. (DFC). This insurance serves as a safety net for creditors in case Gabon defaults on its loan or fails to meet its conservation commitments. It’s a key feature that attracts investors who usually steer clear of emerging markets. 

Thys Louw, a portfolio manager at Ninety One, described the situation as “untested,” especially in the wake of the coup.

Soldiers in Gabon seized power following disputed presidential elections, causing a record drop in the country’s mostly junk-rated international bonds. 

However, the bonds tied to the debt-for-nature swap, which are rated Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service, have been more resilient.

Despite this, there’s a cloud of uncertainty hanging over Gabon’s ability to fulfill its end of the bargain, both in terms of debt repayment and environmental conservation.

Stakeholders are now in a frenzy, trying to gather more information about the implications of the coup. Both Bank of America and Gabon’s environment minister have remained tight-lipped, while the soldiers who took control have vaguely promised to honor all international agreements. 

Bianca Shead, a spokesperson for The Nature Conservancy, emphasized the organization’s commitment to monitoring the situation closely, given Gabon’s ecological importance.

Since 2016, the organization has organized three debt-for-nature swaps which involved the Seychelles, Belize and Barbados. For these deals, the organization had converted over $500 million of debt into $230 million of money for conservation.

Before the Gabon deal, Credit Suisse was the dominant player in the debt-for-nature swap market. Now, other global banks like HSBC and Citigroup are showing interest, with analysts estimating the market’s potential to reach $800 billion

However, these deals are not without their critics. Questions have been raised about whether they truly meet the “blue” label standards for marine conservation.

A Wake-up Call

Sebastian Espinosa, managing director at White Oak Advisory, called the coup a wake-up call for the industry. He cautioned that countries with unstable political or economic landscapes might not be reliable partners for long-term environmental commitments. 

Gabon had announced plans to enter the debt-for-nature market in October last year. 

Apart from the African nation, many other developing countries have expressed their intent to also enter the market. For instance, the island nation of Cabo Verde has plans to do a debt-for-climate swap. Colombia also considered this kind of climate financing in exchange for protecting its Amazon rainforest. 

At the COP27 summit, several others have shown interest in supporting climate swaps, including Gambia, Pakistan, and Kenya.

However the emerging market for debt-for-climate swaps is a niche because of the high transaction costs involved. Plus, there’s a need to closely monitor the projects and debtors must have a long-term commitment to the scheme.

Gabon’s first coupon payment is due on February 1, and if missed, it could activate the DFC insurance, subject to arbitration. As seen in the nation’s bond prospectus, the DFC “will insure 100% of a loss”, which is around $522 million. This coverage includes the full amount of principal and interest.

In conclusion, the coup in Gabon serves as a stark reminder of the risks involved in innovative financial instruments like debt-for-nature swaps. It underscores the need for investors and stakeholders to conduct thorough risk assessments and due diligence before diving into such deals. 

With billions of dollars and crucial environmental commitments at stake, the Gabon situation could very well be a watershed moment for the emerging debt-for-nature swap market.

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Shell Scraps Its $100M Carbon Offset Plan

Europe’s biggest oil major, Shell PLC, secretly ditched its plan to spend $100 million a year on carbon credits, which is the largest offset program among corporations, after 6 months its new chief executive officer Wael Sawan took office.

In June, Sawan announced a major shift in Shell’s strategy – to maintain its current level of oil production until 2030, not to reduce it as initially declared, while reducing costs and increasing shareholders profits. 

What the CEO missed to reveal at the time is the energy giant’s plans for investing in carbon credit projects. These credits are part of Shell’s offsetting program in line with its 2050 net zero emissions goal. 

Finding Carbon Offsets that Meet Quality Standards

Shell has made a commitment to cut Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. It managed to reduce total emissions from all scopes (Scope 1, 2, and 3) in 2022 compared to 2016 levels. 

At a glance, here’s Shell’s climate target summary with actual achievements in 2022. 

A big part of the oil major’s carbon reduction strategy is the use of carbon credits to offset emissions. 

Originally, Shell aimed at spending $100 million each year on carbon offsets. The oil company also targeted to generate 120 million carbon credits yearly by 2030 from natural carbon sequestration projects. These targets would have offset about 10% of Shell’s carbon emissions.  

But with the company’s recent revelation, they confirmed that they’re putting an end to those plans. However, the company hasn’t revealed publicly any new plans for carbon credits or how they now intend to meet their climate targets. 

According to Shell, those prior goals weren’t attainable due to the lack of carbon offsets that meet its quality standards. 

Carbon offsets from nature-based projects were criticized for not delivering the environmental benefits they promised to bring. 

Shell’s previous intent to build a robust pipeline of carbon credits was inspired by research saying that nature-based sequestration can suck in enough carbon to limit global temperature rise. This finding and the growing pressure for corporations to reduce their carbon emissions prompted Shell to consider carbon offsets.

Meanwhile, other large companies and Shell’s oil major peers are also relying on carbon credits to offset their unabated emissions. Estimates show that the voluntary carbon market can hit $950 billion by 2037, a whopping increase from today’s $2B value.

But the Royal Dutch oil giant has been struggling to find carbon offsets that meet its stringent quality requirements. 

As per Flora Ji, a veteran handling the firm’s nature-based solutions (NBS), the market didn’t put high regard to quality before. She further said that: 

“The quality, integrity and responsible use of credits: these are the prerequisites to the credibility and sustainability of the carbon markets.”

Recently, key carbon standard organizations have published a fundamental framework that defines high-quality carbon credits.

Hitting Shell’s Net Zero Target

Shell is known to employ strict standards when it comes to developing and investing in nature-based climate solutions. The oil major has been supporting diverse NBS initiatives from reducing deforestation to tree planting to grasslands projects. 

While Shell is a large supporter of carbon offsets, it’s not the only major player in the field. Other oil giants have also started to develop their own carbon credit projects and pipelines. Chevron, TotalEnergies, BP, Equinor, and Eni are some of the major companies investing in carbon offset credits. 

However, it’s not clear if they will follow the same offsetting scale that Shell originally planned. 

In comparison, French oil major TotalEnergies was able to earn less than 7 million credits last year. The company seeks to generate 45 million carbon credits by the end of the decade. That’s only about ⅓ of Shell’s obsolete offsets target. 

Despite the move to ditch its carbon offsets goal, Shell remains committed to its net zero emissions target. In fact, the company’s spokesman remarked that their “sustainability and climate targets remain”.

As what Ji has also confirmed, Shell’s long-term approach to carbon reduction toward net zero follows the Science-Based Targets initiative. That means avoiding emissions first and reducing them before resorting to carbon offsets. 

If Shell stays loyal to its net zero pledge, it will still need carbon offsets eventually, according to BloombergNEF analysis. The Dutch energy giant will be needing the offset credits for the residual emissions on its way to net zero.

Indeed, Shell is not totally abandoning its carbon offset efforts; only the $100M and 120M credit targets. Ji noted that the oil major may buy carbon credits from the VCM to increase its stocks of offsets. 

And though it’s prioritizing its short-term goal of maximizing profits, it has yet to disclose new plans for its long-term climate targets. 

This revealing news leaves a major question to many – what comes next for Shell’s carbon emission reduction strategy? Will it pivot to technological carbon removal instead? That’s what speculators have to watch out for.  

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DOE to Grant $500M Funding to New Carbon Transport Infrastructure

The Biden administration has been promoting carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to reduce carbon emissions, and a big part of this effort is the Department of Energy’s plan to provide $500 million in grants for companies building carbon transport infrastructure.

The Department issued a notice of intent to fund the construction of new carbon capture facilities with money coming from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It aims to announce this massive funding support in the 4th quarter. 

The Pipeline Leading to Net Zero

The United States, under the Biden-Harris government, has set a 2050 net zero emissions goal. Achieving it needs massive efforts “to capture CO2 emissions from industrial operations and power generation and to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere,” says the Energy Department.

A key to support the rapid development of CCS is a safe and effective system of CO2 pipelines that will transport the captured gas to its designated storage. It can either be underground in rock formations or in facilities that convert CO2 into valuable products. 

Startups have been using captured carbon in making products such as fashion bags and fuels.

Cementing its support for the CCS, the DOE will provide $500 million in subsidy through its Future Growth Grants. Under the program, the Energy Department will give a CCS developer a payment or a share of the cost difference needed to boost its project’s capacity. 

The subsidy is a fraction of the total $2.1 billion allocated to support the DOE’s carbon transportation infrastructure funding program. The funding covers a 4-year support from 2022 to 2026.

The Future Growth Grants

The goal of the DOE’s Future Growth Grants is to promote carbon transport developers to construct the infrastructure. They won’t be necessary initially but they would eventually be required as direct air capture and other storage facilities operate. 

The Department further noted that these upfront investments for “oversizing” transport capacity is for accommodating potential future carbon supplies. 

The additional capacity from the grant may prevent future development of carbon transport networks that would be redundant. Building this infrastructure today as carbon capture projects like DAC are being scaled up would be timely. The pipelines and networks can start synchronically once DAC plants start to operate and hence, the future growth grants.

Carbon dioxide removal or CDR is crucial to meeting the 2050 net zero goals. The Energy Department estimated that between 400 million and 1.8 billion metric tons of CO2 annual removal is necessary.

So far, the country’s existing CO2 transport infrastructure can remove only 60 million Mt each year. But as more projects starts, that capacity will increase to 250 million Mt/year by 2034 and 450 million by 2040

Though current pipelines and other CO2 transport infrastructure aren’t eligible for the subsidy, repurposing them to create new capacity is qualified.

A major qualification for the funding is that the infrastructure must be: “physically connected by way of pipeline, rail, road, and/or body of water”.

Once the funding program is announced, qualified projects should be finished within 5 years as authorized by the Department. Funding applicants must show that their projects would be useful or can be used for twenty years. 

Promoting Carbon Capture in Billions

The DOE’s $500m funding program is part of the current government’s efforts to support and advance emerging CCS technologies. These engineered carbon removal technologies are seen relevant in decarbonizing the power sector and the heavy industries. 

The Energy Department’s most recent funding support for CDR and CCS projects was revealed earlier this month. 

The agency announced that it will provide $1.2 billion in grants to 2 large DAC projects on the Gulf Coast, one is run by Climeworks and Heirloom and the other is to be developed by Oxy, subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, and Carbon Engineering. This investment is the first of 4 DAC hubs that the department will support through its $3.5 billion subsidy program.

The DOE also announced that it has invested over $13 million in 23 projects to support R&D for CCS. Earlier this year, the Department also rolled out over $2.5 billion to fund 2 carbon capture initiatives.

The US government’s commitment to CCS is reinforced with the DOE’s $500M grant plan, aimed to develop carbon transport infrastructure. With this substantial funding and focus on carbon removal technologies, the country is taking major strides toward achieving its ambitious net zero emissions goal.

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Forging Trust for Carbon Removal: Carbonfuture and Collaborate to Scale CDR

Carbonfuture, the pioneering end-to-end platform for carbon removal credits, has partnered with, a leading carbon removal standard and registry. Their goal is to further scale up durable and high-quality carbon dioxide removal, commonly known as CDR. 

Partnering with will allow Carbonfuture to grow its ecosystem of 3rd-party standards for carbon removal. It will also enable the company to integrate certified projects into its unique Trust Infrastructure.  

From Gate to Grave: Pioneering Trust in Carbon Removal

As the Trust Infrastructure for durable carbon removal, Carbonfuture is providing crucial tools and technological infrastructure needed to scale CDR with trust. The company works through a Trust Framework outlining the 5 key dimensions of trust – transparency, quality, impact, innovation, and collaboration.

Carbonfuture’s Trust Infrastructure includes two essential components: Carbonfuture MRV+ and Carbonfuture Marketplace. 

Carbonfuture MRV+ provides a coherent end-to-end CDR supplier experience, from project support services to due diligence to tracking. Carbonfuture Marketplace enables CDR suppliers to find buyers looking for verified, high-quality carbon removal credits. It’s built on data-driven tracking and third-party certification standards. 

Highlighting the significance of the Trust Infrastructure for, its CEO, Antti Vihavainen, noted that:

“Carbonfuture’s CDR Tracking offers additional transparency of the carbon removal process from gate to grave, confirming alignment with the Puro Standard methodology requirements… we are delighted to see the integration of certified projects in the Carbonfuture Marketplace.”

By integrating into Carbonfuture’s Trust Infrastructure, Puro suppliers will now have access to the largest carbon removal marketplace. They can then find buyers for their verified CDR credits. 

The Puro Standard for engineered CDR in voluntary carbon markets follows robust, science-based quantification methodologies for carbon removal technologies. These include biochar, enhanced rock weathering (ERW), and direct air capture, among others. 

The Puro Registry then issues the CO2 Removal Certificates (CORCs) that enable transparent tracking of credits from issuance to retirement. This, in turn, brings confidence to buyers because the Puro Standard is the first ICROA (International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance) endorsed standard for durable CDR. 

In February last year, Nasdaq launched three carbon removal price indexes based on CORCs.

Earlier this month, the largest open data platform for CDR reported that carbon removal purchases jumped 437% for the first half of this year versus full year 2022, with Microsoft as the top buyer.

Collaboration is Key in Scaling Up CDR

The collaboration between and Carbonfuture is based on their shared mission to advance carbon removal technologies

Their deal fuses Carbonfuture’s technological infrastructure that ensures trust in the carbon removal process and’s leading CDR Standard, plus 120+ registered CDR suppliers. 

To date, has retired 197,000 tons of CO2, at 174 EUR per ton of CO2 removed.

Carbonfuture’s CEO, Hannes Junginger-Gestrich, noted that their new setup will help carbon removal suppliers seamlessly go through the certification process and expand their market, “while providing buyers with the assurance to confidently purchase carbon removal credits”.

Carbonfuture and’s partnership involves two significant elements:

Facilitation of sale of CORCs via the Carbonfuture Marketplace. By integrating Puro Standard into Carbonfuture’s CDR Tracking, suppliers can track their CDR efforts, from carbon removal to storage. This ensures that the issued carbon removal credits are reliable and of high quality. 
Carbon removal suppliers will be guided how to get their projects certified by the Puro Standard through Carbonfuture’s Carbon Removal Supplier Services.

Last month, also entered into a giant merger with Xpansiv in an effort to scale carbon removals. 

These partnerships assert the significance of collaboration among key players in the CDR industry to bring more transparency and trust. By working together, Carbonfuture and are uplifting carbon removals while ensuring that CDR offers a solution to combating climate change and bringing the world to net zero emissions

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Barbie’s $1.3B Movie and Green Shift: Hollywood Meets Sustainability

Once the epitome of pink dreams and plastic shoes, Barbie is going Hollywood and embracing eco-friendly and sustainability aspirations, particularly on reducing carbon and plastic footprint.  

Mattel’s iconic doll, known for her fashion statements and a multitude of careers, has made her theatrical debut with a splash in a star-studded Barbie movie. While box office figures are still rolling in (approx. $1.3B as of this writing), the real story is perhaps in how Barbie is taking on the green revolution.

Let’s rewind a tad to a juicy piece of fake news that recently stirred quite the commotion. 

Plastic-Free Barbie Hoax

An elaborate hoax, led by none other than the audacious climate pranksters, the Yes Men, announced a ‘plastic-free Barbie.’ This grand spectacle, complete with a faux ad featuring climate activist Daryl Hannah, was, in fact, an attempt to draw attention to Barbie’s plastic footprint. 

With almost 60 million dolls sold each year, Barbie parent brand, Mattel, consumes a lot of plastic. Since the doll’s creation in 1959, more than 1 billion Barbies have been sold globally.

As per the carbon emissions calculator, Greenly, these sales generate emissions of about 39,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Greenly based its estimations on research that investigates the carbon footprints of some children’s plastic toys, including Barbie.

According to the study, a 180g Barbie doll using plastics derived from crude oil emits 648g CO2e over its entire life cycle. In comparison, the Lego Star Wars toy has emissions of 537g CO2e while a Catwoman Lego set has 755g CO2e

However such carbon emissions data didn’t consider the entire Barbie universe, which includes other plastic Barbie items like houses, cars, airplanes, and more. 

The authors also noted that 92% of American girls aged 3-12 own an average of 12 Barbie dolls. That translates to 7,776g or 7.8kg CO2e per child.

The push for sustainability propelled the Barbie maker to shift to reusing and recycling plastic wastes that would have ended up in the oceans.

It was in 2021 when Mattel launched a range of Barbies made of recycled plastics. By the next year, a genuine collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute saw the birth of carbon-neutral-certified Barbies crafted from recycled ocean-bound plastic.

This lineup showcased both a renowned ethologist and conservationist, Dr. Jane Goodall doll, and an Eco-Leadership Team – a potent nod to careers championing sustainability. With roles like Chief Sustainability Officer and Renewable Energy Engineer, Barbie seemed to say, “Hey, not only can you dream it, but you can also do it sustainably.”

On top of this green wave, another revelation popped up. A friend of John Montgomery, co-author of Shifting Context: Leadership Springs from Within, snapped a fun photo of a Barbie holding their book.

This wasn’t just any Barbie; she was part of the 2022 Career of the Year doll set: the Barbie Eco-Leadership Team. A pleasant surprise to many, this set was reportedly sold out.

Is Plastic Still Fantastic? Barbie’s Net Zero Plans

Mattel is leaping towards net zero commitments like almost every other major corporation. Mattel isn’t lagging with a pledge to reduce its absolute Scope 1 + 2 GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 (vs. 2019 baseline). 

Responding to the hoax, Mattel further noted that they’ve long ago announced their sustainability goals. And that includes the aim to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials by 2030. Part of their goals is also to reduce plastic packaging by 25% per product (vs. 2020 baseline) and achieve zero manufacturing waste.

Reducing their plastic footprint is not only beneficial for the environment but for the companies doing it. These companies may be eligible for earning plastic credits. Each plastic credit is equal to one ton of plastic waste that would otherwise have not been collected or recycled. Companies can further leverage plastic credits along with carbon credits to address their sustainability concerns.

Like Barbie, many brands also consider plastic waste reduction as part of their net zero commitments.

Mattel also exceeded its goal to maintain 95% recycled content in the paper and wood fiber they used in their products and packaging, reaching 97.9% in 2021 as validated by the Rainforest Alliance.

Given Barbie’s extensive career history, we bet the Eco-Leadership Team would nudge them for an even swifter stride towards net zero emissions.

From Iconic Pink to Sustainable Green

But beyond the stats and dolls, Barbie’s green venture is more than just eco-friendly playthings. A deeper alliance with the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots program beckons kids to nurture their natural curiosity about the environment and amplify their eco-footprint knowledge.

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In a smart marketing move, a global challenge dubbed #NaturallyCuriousJane encourages young minds to adopt environment-conscious activities like community mapping and amplifying green spaces. Not just that, Barbie’s digital footprint, via their YouTube channel, showcases Dr. Jane Goodall, ensuring that her legacy and teachings ripple through younger generations.

Wrapping it up, from a playful prank about a plastic-free future to genuine strides in sustainability, Barbie’s evolution reflects our world’s shifting paradigms. It’s more than just a movie or a new doll set; it’s a narrative of change, adaptation, and of responsibility.

The next time your kid picks up a Barbie, remember: underneath that iconic pink and plastic facade is now a touch of green, a nod to a sustainable future. 

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Kia to Reuse Plastic from Record 55 Tons of Collected Ocean Trash

South Korean carmaker Kia will use recycled plastic from a record 55-ton reclaimed trash from the Pacific Ocean in its future EV models, marking the company’s efforts for a sustainable mobility solutions provider. The impressive amount of plastic trash is recovered by Kia’s partner, The Ocean Cleanup.

The Ocean Cleanup is an international non-profit organization seeking to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. The team’s record-breaking catch was from the Pacific Ocean and landed at Victoria, Vancouver, Canada. 

Commenting on this significant effort, a Kia executive noted that it shows how technology can drive sustainable solutions at scale. The senior VP further remarked that:

“Initiatives such as this one perfectly align with Kia’s transition to a sustainable mobility solutions provider and our Plan S strategy… by acting as a responsible corporate citizen.”

Kia has set ambitious net zero goals and taken steps to slash its carbon emissions. 

Kia’s Sustainable Mobility Toward Net Zero

The Korean automaker has a strong focus on reducing its carbon emissions. In 2021, Kia declared to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. To this end, the automaker aims to slash its carbon emissions by 97% compared to 2019 levels by 2045. 

Kia will then look for ways to offset the remaining footprint to make its net emissions “zero” at all levels. The company plans to meet its net zero targets through its so-called 3Ss – Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Mobility, and Sustainable Planet.

A big part of reaching its net zero or carbon neutrality targets, apart from transitioning to full-electric models, is investing in recyclable and eco-friendly materials and technology to lower its emissions and environmental impacts. 

Such strategy includes the brand’s support of The Ocean Cleanup as reflected in the project’s record haul. Recycling of the reclaimed plastic will start shortly with Kia using some of the plastic trash in future models. Recycled plastics will become interior components of Kia’s future fully electric cars.

This move aligns with Kia’s commitment to provide sustainable mobility solutions that have a measurable impact on the environment. It’s something that the carmaker has been doing with its fabrics and carpets from recycled PET and bio-based leather. For instance, in its EV9 model, the car has floor carpet made from fishing nets. 

The Ocean Cleanup’s 7-year partnership will give Kia more resources to recycle and use in its interior car parts.

Plastic Credits from the World’s Largest Floating Waste

The 55-ton record trash was recovered using The Ocean Cleanup’s System 002 extraction technology following a long voyage through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). It’s the planet’s biggest accumulation of floating waste, with a surface area of around 1.6 million sq. kilometers. In other words, that’s equal to more than 4x the size of Germany. 

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The company’s floating systems are designed to capture plastics of all sizes, from microplastics to massive wastes. Their modeling estimates that the cleanup team needs around 10 full-size systems to clear the GPGP.

By deploying fleets of extraction systems, The Ocean Cleanup projects can remove 90% of floating ocean plastic by 2040. 

Right after it brought its recovered trash to shore with System 002, the team revealed its new System 03 technology. This new system is about 3x bigger than its predecessor. So apparently, it can capture more plastic waste at lower costs (per kilo of trash removed). 

The System 03 extraction also has a more sophisticated environmental monitoring and safety technology designed to protect marine life. 

The Ocean Cleanup said it will offset all carbon emissions from its System 002 campaign. The team is also working with Maersk in experimenting with low-carbon fuels for their support vessels. 

Announcing their future plans, Nisha Bakker, a director at The Ocean Cleanup, said that they’re aiming to remove 50% of the GPGP every 5 years, but they can’t do this huge task alone. With that, Bakker further noted that:

“Committed and valued partners, and particularly our global partner Kia, remain essential for The Ocean Cleanup to bring our shared ambitions of plastic-free oceans to reality.”

Their innovative and giant effort of recovering plastics from the oceans in partnership with Kia can make them eligible for earning plastic credits. Each credit is equal to a ton of plastic waste that would otherwise have not been collected or recycled.

They can then leverage plastic credits to address their sustainability concerns or as part of their net zero commitments. 

Kia’s commitment to repurposing 55 tons of Pacific Ocean plastic recovered by The Ocean Cleanup into future EV models symbolizes a pivotal shift toward a more sustainable automotive industry. This initiative scores big both in protecting our oceans and eliminating plastic waste.

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Nvidia’s Accelerated Analytics Can Cut Computing Cost and CO2 Footprint by 80%

Companies are unlocking the potential of green computing to enhance their profits and also contribute positively to the environment. The Nvidia RAPIDS Accelerator for Apache Spark is a game-changer by cutting both costs and carbon emissions by up to 80%. 

Apache Spark is a software used by thousands of companies, including the world’s largest ones to speed up data analytics. 

Nvidia RAPIDS Accelerator’s ability to both improve analytics performance and energy efficiency can help businesses meet their net zero emissions. This innovative solution holds the promise of substantial carbon reductions for corporations and enterprises using Apache Spark.

Increasing Speed, Reducing Costs and Emissions with Green Computing

Not only can the RAPIDS Accelerator cut a company’s carbon emissions by as much as 80%, but it can also deliver 5x faster and cost 4x less on a GPU-accelerated Apache Spark. That means 80% of Fortune 500 companies using Apache Spark can collectively reduce their emissions significantly.

According to its creator Nvidia, each Spark user adopting the accelerator software can reduce a total of 7.8 metric tons of CO2 a year. To put that into perspective, it’s the same as how much a car emits in burning 878 gallons of oil. 

Thus, Nvidia’s RAPIDS Accelerator is a breakthrough in how green computing can help in the fight against climate change. 

What is Green Computing?

Green computing is also called sustainable computing or green information technology (IT), spanning supply chains, from raw materials to recycling. It refers to the practice of maximizing energy efficiency while minimizing the environmental impact of computer chips, systems, and software. 

In their lifecycle, green computing enables tasks through computers to be done for the least energy use possible. Efficiency is usually measured by performance per watt. 

The energy efficiency of computers is crucial because the growing demand for electricity is one of the major culprits of global warming. Though data centers are responsible for only 1% or 200 terawatt-hours of electricity use each year, their growth demands attention. 

In fact, industry estimates show that electricity use can go up to 13% by 2030 while the share of global carbon emissions would be 6% for the same year. 

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This is where green computers can offer a solution as “energy efficiency is a full-stack issue, from the software down to the chips”, says an Nvidia engineer. Indeed, innovations in green computing resonate at every level across the industry with Nvidia taking center stage. 

Green Computers for Net Zero

In a world where more than 70 countries strive to reach net zero emissions, green or accelerated computing emerges as a vital tool in this global challenge.

Major industry leaders like Nvidia are working with companies in various sectors to show the technology’s benefits and potential. 

For example, the computer chip expert works with a renowned financial services company to test its application for real-time fraud protection. The financier aims to cut its carbon emission with accelerated computing so that it aligns with the Net-Zero Banking Alliance

Moreover, Nvidia reported that a large AI supercomputer confirmed the energy efficiency of its green computing tech in May.

Notably, across 4 popular applications, the Perlmutter supercomputer at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) demonstrated remarkable energy efficiency gains of 5x on average with Nvidia A100 Tensor Core GPUs.  

NERSC apps got efficiency gains with accelerated computing.

In fact, a weather forecasting application recorded acceleration of almost 10x compared to regular CPUs. These results are proof that green or accelerated computing is powerful in diverse applications. 

Remarkable Testimonies for Accelerated Computing

Other notable testaments of the Nvidia RAPIDS Accelerator came from Adobe, IRS, and AT&T. They all have tested and harnessed the powerful ability and potential of this green computing and information technology. They have experienced accelerated speeds, cost reduction, and remarkable AI model training gains. 

For instance, AT&T was able to process 2.8 trillion rows of mobile data information for only 5 hours – over 3x faster at 60% reduced cost than any previous test. 

According to the company’s AI architect, it would take over 48 hours to process only 7 days of data on CPU clusters. Compared that to the 5-hour result for Nvidia’s accelerator which involved a month’s worth of data. 

So the AI expert suggested that:

“… if a job is taking too long and you have a lot of data, turn on GPUs — with Spark, the same code that runs on CPUs runs on GPUs.”

Adobe also tried Nvidia’s green computing tech on its Intelligent Services platform, a tool helping marketers speed analytics using AI. They discovered that a single Nvidia GPU node can beat a 16-node CPU cluster by 33% while decreasing computing costs by 70% with the help of RAPIDS Accelerator. 

Adobe’s engineers also found out that the same green computing trained an AI model 7x faster than running on CPUs. That represents a 90% cost reduction in training AI models

To validate the gains of Nvidia’s sustainable computing, the IRS reported a 20x speed improvement by using GPU-powered computers. And that’s half the cost of doing it on CPUs. 

The IRS test analyzed over a 3 terabyte dataset, which the accelerated Spark cluster successfully processed. 

Nvidia further eases adoption by offering an accelerated Spark analysis tool, allowing users to explore the benefits without code changes and tailor GPU acceleration to their specific workloads.

As companies tread the path towards sustainability, the fusion of accelerated green computing and initiatives for climate becomes a crucial force. By integrating sustainable technology, like Nvidia’s RAPIDS Accelerator, into their operations, companies can drive profitability, speed up processes, and reduce carbon emissions, contributing to a greener future.

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Revolutionizing Asia’s Carbon Credit Market With 1st Digital Carbon Registry

In a groundbreaking deal, a trio worked together to bring the carbon market to the next level: a carbon reduction solutions provider Carbonbase, HBAR Foundation, and ImpactX. They’re launching Asia’s first digital native carbon registry – the Global Climate Registry (GCR). 

Carbonbase is a climate tech company focusing on providing innovative tools for carbon emission calculation and reduction using advanced technologies. Their goal is to enable effective climate action and has helped large companies such as Schneider Electric, Porsche, and Mercedes, among others in their climate transition journey. 

The HBAR Foundation supports the creation of Web3 communities built on the Hedera public network by helping builders and creators. ImpactX harnesses the power of digital tools and networks to tackle climate change and offer sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. 

Their collaboration seeks to develop a next-gen carbon credit market in Asia-Pacific (APAC). Emphasizing their goal, Carbonbase’s CEO and Founder Max Song remarked during the announcement that:

“By leveraging the robust partnerships of the Hedera network and ImpactX’s visionary product approach for global NGOs, we aim to co-create a next-gen carbon market infrastructure… This innovation [GCR] will boost transparency, credit integrity, and significantly drive market growth, propelling global carbon reduction efforts.”

Simplifying and Boosting Carbon Credit Market in Asia

The APAC region was responsible for over 50% of global carbon emissions in 2022. However, it doesn’t have its own local carbon registry that can facilitate efficient carbon emission reduction projects.

According to Statista, the APAC region emitted around 18 billion metric tons of CO2 last year, up 2% from 2021. That amount is more than the combined emissions of all other regions for the same year.  

To help the region drive down its carbon footprint, the three-party deal will introduce its first digital native carbon registry. The GCR will prompt the acceleration of digitizing the measurement, reporting, and verification (dMRV) process in the carbon credit market. 

The new registry will offer a digital-native experience for carbon project developers to register, auditors to verify, and buyers to purchase carbon credits.

Built on the Hedera Hashgraph network, the carbon registry provides transparent and publicly accessible solutions for emission reduction projects. As such, it offers open access to verified carbon credits. 

Leveraging the Hedera Hashgraph network, carbon credit project developers can gain recognition while providing buyers with improved data reporting. 

GCR will introduce an innovative framework that simplifies accurate MRV of carbon credits, reshaping the carbon market while encouraging more engagement from companies, industries, and governments to collectively fight climate change.

ImpactX has been in the service of global non-governmental organizations by offering digital tools and operational frameworks. 

The company believes that a blockchain-based registry can help boost carbon reduction projects that generate high-quality carbon credits. Their aim is to “offer both project developers and carbon credit purchasers a seamless journey”. 

Unlocking a New Era of Transparency and Trust

The digital native registry will employ the work of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)’s Committee Standards on MRV Standards for Climate Action as its methodology research counterpart. 

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization advancing technology for humanity, boasting 400,000+ members in over 160 countries. Its global network of technology experts drives inventive solutions to address critical global challenges with 1,300 industry standards.

Working with IEEE will allow GCR to help carbon initiatives to measure, report, and verify their impacts credibly and cost-effectively. 

According to an expert, GCR marks a significant stride in the intersection of green finance, blockchain technology, and climate change. 

In March last year, the International Emissions Trading Association issued guidelines on blockchain use in carbon markets. As the main lobby group for VCM, IETA’s aim is to establish a functional framework for trading carbon credits. 

Speaking for HBAR Foundation, the company’s VP of Sustainability and ESG noted that it’s crucial that standards are operated in a public ledger that’s easy for project developers to use. He further said that:

“GCR will enable digital MRV, streamline project enablement and improve carbon credit management, unlocking a new era of transparency, trust, and impact in the fight against climate change.”

In a transformative collaboration, Carbonbase, HBAR Foundation, and ImpactX are to revolutionize Asia’s carbon market with the launch of the GCR, a pioneering digital native carbon registry in the region. With it, they aim to drive transparency, integrity, and market growth, fostering global carbon reduction efforts and climate action.

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US Trio to Fund $500M Nature-Based Carbon Projects to Make 100M Carbon Credits

Three US companies – carbon solutions provider Rubicon Carbon, commodity trading firm Freepoint Commodities, and project developer Imperative Global – have teamed up to develop and fund a potential $500 million nature-based carbon offset projects that can create over 100 million carbon credits

The trio joined forces to bring to the market large-scale nature-based carbon offset projects and create impactful results in the Global South. 

A Trio for High-Quality Carbon Offset Projects

TPG Rise-backed Rubicon Carbon aims to help large companies meet their decarbonization targets and the growing demand for high-integrity carbon credits. The company sources and manages diversified carbon credit portfolios while bringing transparency and quality to voluntary carbon markets (VCMs).

Freepoint Commodities is a global commodities merchant with a voluntary carbon business delivering market solutions to VCM market players. Investing in high-quality carbon projects is one of the services that Freepoint provides.

Imperative Global seeks to advance carbon credit project development and the generation of high-quality credits by addressing issues at the source. It has expertise in carbon project execution, conservation projects, and carbon markets, optimizing these projects using advanced technology. 

Their collaboration has the main goal of promoting nature-based carbon offset projects that can produce over 100 million credits. 

The VCM was valued at $2 billion in 2022 and market projections are bullish, surging to $250 billion by 2050. Demand for voluntary carbon credits, also known as carbon offsets, will grow exponentially as shown below. 

One of the biggest problems plaguing the market is the issue of quality. Nature-based carbon offset credits, in particular, have been criticized for being worthless.  

The collaboration among the three companies aims to address this concern by driving quality within the VCM and providing capital at the scale necessary to fund large projects.

Generating 100M+ High-Integrity Carbon Credits

Rubicon Carbon has been focusing on working with project developers that implement high-integrity carbon projects. Partnering with Imperative reflects this commitment as their deal centers on promoting quality and setting new market standards.

Commenting on their collaboration, the Head of Rubicon Carbon Capital, Chris Brown said that it enables them to “help progress the VCM through a focus on integrity and quality”. 

Freepoint Commodities shared the same viewpoint on their trio partnership. As the commodity trader seeks to expand its global voluntary carbon business, they’ll invest in high-integrity projects and developers. 

Freepoint expressed intent “to support Imperative to be a market leader in the space”. They believe that doing so allows them to expand the suite of products and services they offer to customers. 

Each dollar these companies invest in Imperative carbon projects aims to produce meaningful climate, biodiversity, and community benefits. 

Imperative’s carbon project portfolio covers Latin America, Africa, and Asia, focusing on large-scale agroforestry, mangrove restoration, and native-species reforestation

Highlighting the significance of their partnership with Rubicon and Freepoint, Imperative CEO Scobie Mackay remarked that:

“…we believe that we can deliver scale and address the issue of quality at the source – on the ground where project activities are occurring…This collaboration with Rubicon Carbon and Freepoint Commodities brings together institutional capital, specialized carbon know-how, and deep, large-scale projects expertise.” 

Their strategic alliance seeks to create more than 100 million tons of carbon credits certified by Verra and Gold Standard. These credits won’t only reduce carbon emissions but also deliver substantial co-benefits and sustainable development goals. 

By combining their expertise, resources, and commitment to quality and integrity, this collaborative effort seeks to address both the demand for reliable offsets and the critical need for authentic and effective nature-based carbon offset projects. 

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