Deep Sky and Svante Partner for Gigaton-Scale CDR in Canada

Deep Sky, a Canadian carbon removal project developer, partnered with carbon capture solutions provider Svante Technologies to study carbon sequestration in Quebec. They tapped Sproule to assess the feasibility of permanent geologic CO2 storage in the province.

This partnership is Deep Sky’s first venture to evaluate carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to ramp up the roll-out of this technological climate solution. This carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technology is crucial in achieving the global net zero emissions goal. 

CCS can help balance hard-to-abate carbon emissions and help reverse the buildup of carbon pollution that’s already in the air.

The Need for Deep Understanding of CCS

The evolution of CCS technologies is growing rapidly, driven by the urgent need to tackle climate change. With environmental challenges heightening, there’s a growing corporate demand for high-quality carbon removal credits. Thus, developing reliable CCS technologies is critical to meet such demand. 

Many of the technologies required to capture carbon from air or water and store it permanently do exist. But they’re mostly in the early stages and to scale them, it’s important to completely understand them, particularly their costs and impacts. 

This understanding exacted through a team of expert researchers, scientists, and entrepreneurs allows Deep Sky to scale on a level that has never been seen before. It will enable the carbon removal company to develop CCS technologies and bring them to commercialization through collaborations. 

The company’s co-founder, Fred Lalonde, highlighted the importance of working with other major industry players to deliver rapid meaningful changes. Commenting on their partnership with Svante, he said that:

“By combining Deep Sky’s project development expertise with Svante’s ready-to-deploy technology and Sproule’s geology research, we can drive down greenhouse gas emissions and deliver carbon credits to the market at hyper speed.”

Svante has developed innovative carbon removal technology using solid sorbent-coated filters that capture CO2 from industrial sources. These filters can capture up to 95% of the industrial carbon emissions using direct low-pressure steam injection. 

The filters are available for point-source capture from hydrogen, cement, steel, aluminum, pulp & paper plants, and refineries, and DAC applications. DAC refers to direct air capture

Svante’s Point-Source Carbon Capture Technology

Leveraging Deep Sky’s CDR development expertise and Quebec’s unique geology, Svante’s CEO and President Claude Letourneau remarked that: 

“For DAC to succeed, it will be critical to find geographical locations that have substantial and safe storage potential…We can leverage the region’s [Quebec] vast renewables and hydroelectric energy needed to safely trap and store CO2 in deep underground saline aquifers.’’

Engineered or tech-based carbon removal using DAC and other carbon capture and sequestration methods is maturing. But the problem is that no one is able to scale these technologies to gigaton levels, yet. 

The Deep Sky Solution: Tech-Based, Gigaton-Scale CDR

Deep Sky aims to build gigaton-scale carbon removal and storage infrastructure in Québec and across Canada. As a project developer, the startup is bringing together the most promising CDR technologies to commercialize climate solutions at scale.

Source: Deep Sky website

The CDR company is supported by the government of Québec, a large Ontario pension fund, and renowned private investors. Headquartered in Québec, the early-stage VC company is in an advantageous position to leverage the region’s CCS potential.

Though nature-based CDR approaches are cheaper and are easier to deploy in the short term, tech-based carbon sequestration technologies offer a much greater removal potential and greater scalability. The former is facing land availability constraints. 

Forests, for example, can remove about 5 tons of CO2/hectare of land. In contrast, a DAC plant can capture up to 50,000 tCO2 for the same land area. So, in comparison, the tech-based CDR method is about 10,000x more land-efficient than its nature-based CDR counterpart. 

There won’t be enough land available to naturally sequester the amount of carbon needed to reach net zero emissions. But engineered CDR technologies also have their own challenges – energy use. 

Carbon capture technologies need thousands of kilowatt-hours of energy to capture a ton of CO2. To address this, carbon removal companies like Deep Sky must work with existing energy-efficient carbon capture technologies scalable at gigaton-level. Svante matches this requirement.

Delivering High-Quality Carbon Removal Credits 

Technological carbon sequestration methods are known to produce high-quality and reliable carbon removal credits. That’s because they provide durable, scalable, measurable, and verifiable carbon emission reductions. 

As the demand for CDR skyrockets, companies, governments, and individuals will seek Deep Sky’s high-quality carbon removal credits. This enables the carbon removal startup to be a key player in the CDR market.

Deep Sky believes that the demand for premium CDR credits will grow exponentially, providing one of the biggest market opportunities.

To leverage this market growth, the company is currently raising a $50M Series A round co-led by WhiteCap Venture Partners and Brightspark. The funding will enable Deep Sky to build its initial pilot facility, Deep Sky Alpha, and to set the ground for its first large-scale facility, Deep Sky One.

The recent developments and announced investments in CDR seem to point to Deep Sky’s bright market projection. CDR credit purchases jumped 437% for the first half of this year versus the full-year 2022. And as corporate net zero commitments continue to grow, so does the demand for these environmental credits. 

As Quebec is strategically positioned for the next gigaton-scale carbon removal projects for its ideal geological makeup for carbon storage, renewable resources, and supportive policy, Deep Sky has a unique advantage in delivering high-quality CDR credits. Teaming up with Svante Technologies, their strategic collaboration for an innovative carbon removal project paves the way for a gigaton-scale climate solution. 

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A $150M Boost: Allowing Small Forest Owners to Profit from Carbon Credits

The U.S. government will give small forest landowners $150 million in grants to allow them to benefit from the carbon credit market and work with corporations seeking to buy carbon offsets.   

The grant program was revealed at a conference in coastal Georgia by the Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The subsidy will give small and underserved forest landowners managing 2,500 acres (1,011 hectares) or less more chances to participate in the growing carbon market.

The ultimate goal is to protect the U.S. forests to help fight climate change.

Funding Nature-Based Climate Solutions 

The current global investments in NCS or NBS are at around $154 billion a year. While it sounds plenty, it is still not enough to stir massive efforts to sequester carbon through nature. The UN said that amount has to double to $384 B by 2025 and quadruple to $674 B by 2050. 

Closing that nature financing gap is crucial to tackle the climate crisis. 

To help close the financing gap, the Agriculture Department will roll out $150 M supporting small forest owners. 

Secretary Vilsack highlighted one particular barrier for this group of landowners to participate in carbon markets, saying that:

“In order for those small, privately held forest owners to be able to do what they need and want to do requires a bit of technical help… And sometimes that technical help is not easy to find. And it’s certainly not easy to afford.”

Both technical and financial barriers keep small landowners covering less than 5,000 acres from benefiting in selling carbon credits. And though large companies invest billions into protecting forests via carbon offsets, family landowners don’t satisfy the eligibility criteria. 

To be eligible, they need to have inventory, land management plans, and models to determine their land’s carbon value. Doors remain closed for them in the carbon space. 

Opening More Doors in Carbon Markets

As carbon markets continue to show promising growth over the past years, more players are joining in. The voluntary carbon market was valued at $2 billion last year and forecasts show it will even grow exponentially. 

But the ones benefiting the most from the sales of carbon credits don’t significantly include the small forestland owners. Revenues from carbon offset credits have mostly benefited large forest owners. This is what the government’s $150 M subsidy program will address. 

The grant is from the most notable climate law passed by the US Congress in 2022. The funding program targets small landowners with 2,500 acres or less, and the underserved owners like military veterans.

Despite criticisms of the effectiveness of forests in capturing and sequestering carbon, payments for landowners growing and protecting trees increased. Large companies still rely on forest carbon sequestration and pay for the credits to offset their own emissions.

Amid plummeting prices of nature-based carbon offset credits, the UN panel seems to favor nature-based solutions over tech based carbon removals. The UN-backed believes that natural climate solutions (NCS) play a big role in achieving the Paris goals as shown below.

NCS includes forest projects that give landowners incentives not to cut down trees or sell their land to corporate developers. 

Earlier this month, Finite Carbon and LandYield partnered in a groundbreaking project that also aimed at breaking barriers to open new opportunities for family forest landowners to benefit from carbon credits. They launched a new platform “CORE Carbon” for landowners with 40-5,000 acres to enroll in a carbon offset program. 

Years ago, a similar program was created by the Nature Conservancy and the American Forest Foundation that allowed family landowners to apply for subsidies of up to $25mln. The grant covered considerable costs for these landowners to generate carbon credits and earn from selling them. 

Earning Extra Through Carbon Credits

The recent grant was first introduced to the host of the conference where the program was announced. The group called the Sustainable Forestry and African American Land Retention Network represents black forest landowners covering the Southern states. These include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

The group’s leader said that they’ll apply for the subsidy program though they don’t know the actual demand yet. It will depend on how much the smaller forest owners can earn from the carbon offset credits. 

The income won’t be that huge, given the smaller acreage involved, but it would be enough to “pay the taxes”. According to the American Forest Foundation, the small landowners under their forest carbon program are earning $10 per acre a year on average.

So for a landowner managing a 1,500-acre forestland, that would be $15,000 a year income. It’s not huge but others could earn more than that. If prices go up, so do their potential earnings. 

In a move to empower small forest landowners, the $150 million grant program aims to bridge the gap in the carbon credit market. This initiative not only unlocks income opportunities for smaller, underserved landowners but also fortifies the nation’s fight against climate change through nature-based solutions.

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EU Enacts New Reporting Rules for CBAM: Here’s What To Know

Despite significant opposition from some trading partners, the European Commission has enacted the reporting rules for its carbon pricing tool known as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism or CBAM that will take effect during its transitional phase in October 1, 2023. 

CBAM, a key pillar of the EU’s Fit for 55 Agenda, is the bloc’s significant tool to prevent carbon leakage. It’s created to ensure that companies operating inside and outside the region remain on the same page in terms of carbon pricing and environmental impact.

Carbon leakage happens when a company operating in the EU move its production abroad where there’s less stringent climate regulations. It also occurs when products made in the region are substituted by more carbon-intensive import goods. 

A study estimates that unchecked carbon leakage can result in a 15% increase in global carbon emissions, hurting climate actions. CBAM seeks to avoid this.

Putting a Fair Price on Carbon 

As the EU gradually introduces the mechanism, the Implementing Regulations will initially apply to carbon intensive industries and certain goods. These particularly include iron and steel, cement, electricity, hydrogen, aluminum, and fertilizers.

Once CBAM becomes fully phased in, it can address >50% of the emissions of the sectors under the EU ETS. Its transition phase will run until the end of 2025. 

The new rules adopted specify the reporting obligations for importers of CBAM covered goods. It also provide details of the methods how to calculate embedded emissions generated in producing those products. 

This guidance is published by the EC to also help third country producers of CBAM goods. The Commission will also provide materials, tutorials, and webinars to help affected companies once the transitional phase starts. 

First report, which includes 2023 4th Qtr. data (starting October 1), will be due by January 31 next year. Traders only need to submit their report without having to pay for any financial adjustments. This is to give enough time for companies to get used to it while the methods are adjusted by 2026.

By ensuring that a carbon price has been paid for the embedded emissions of the imported goods and that it’s equal to the carbon price of domestic production, the CBAM is putting a fair price on carbon. The mechanism also aligns with the WTO rules. 

Phasing-In of CBAM, Phasing-Out of Free Carbon Allowances

The gradual phase in of the mechanism will coincide with the phase-out of the free carbon allowances under the EU ETS to decarbonize the industry.  

The EC forecasts that the carbon allowance market can reach €4.5 billion annually by 2030. CBAM will significantly affect international trade and revenues.

Starting from January 1, 2026, the new permanent system will require importers to report annually on the volume of goods brought into the EU in the previous year and their associated emissions. 

Subsequently, they will need to surrender the corresponding number of CBAM certificates. The cost of these certificates will be based on the weekly average auction price of EU ETS allowances, measured in €/tonne of CO2.

Before the definitive CBAM system takes effect, there will be a comprehensive review of its performance during the transitional phase. Then there will be an assessment of the product scope, evaluating the possibility of including more goods from sectors already covered by the EU ETS into the CBAM. The report will outline a schedule for their inclusion by 2030.

Ultimately, here are the key things under the CBAM’s transitional phase to keep in mind:

Reporting timetable: beginning in October, businesses must collect data on embedded carbon emissions of their imported goods. Reporting starts in January 2024 and ends in 2025. 

Industries covered: carbon-intensive industries and certain downstream products (e.g. bolts). Specific indirect emissions under certain conditions may also be included.  

CBAM certificates: certificates must include information on the product’s CO2 footprint, origin, production/processes, and GHG emissions data (including indirect emissions, e.g. energy use).

Meeting the reporting rules of CBAM might be tough for traders initially. But its advantages will outweigh the challenges in the long-term by creating a fairer carbon price. 

Last year, the U.S. also introduced its own version of CBAM, the Clean Competition Act. It aims to make domestic companies in the U.S. more competitive in the global market.

Well-designed carbon pricing like the EU CBAM will help industries adopt less carbon-intensive and more environmentally friendly production processes, contributing to a greener global economy. This is critical as the world is curbing planet-warming emissions to address climate change. 

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Who Certifies Carbon Credits?

Anybody can say that they’re offsetting their carbon footprint and get financial support for it, which is good. But here’s another version of the story – uncertified carbon credits can’t ensure that the offset project has actually reduced carbon emissions. 

In other words, carbon credits that companies use to claim emission reductions must go through a recognized carbon credit certification process. But the question is – who certifies carbon credits?

You’ll know the most renowned companies or standards that certify carbon credits, plus the processes involved in this article. 

Who Certifies Carbon Credits?

Carbon credit certification can be done only by accredited organizations and both types of carbon markets – compliance and voluntary – have their own standards to adhere to. These standards are aided by independent verification bodies to ensure that carbon reduction projects follow their strict rules in offsetting.

Given the various carbon credit certification companies and their protocols, it could be quite confusing and you might be thinking why not have one global standard only. We do hope, too, but since that’s not yet the case, here are the names you should be aware of. 

Let’s break it down according to market type, starting with the voluntary carbon market (VCM)

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) by Verra

The VCS Program developed by Verra is the most widely adopted carbon credit certification program. This program allows certified offset projects to turn their emission reductions or removals into carbon credits. 

To date, Verra has more than 1,800 certified VCS projects that collectively reduced or removed over 920 million tons of GHG emissions. The VCS program focuses on GHG reduction attributes only and doesn’t require projects to have additional environmental or social benefits.

Gold Standard (GS)

The Gold Standard is a voluntary carbon credit certification program unique from others. Unlike Verra, it puts the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the center when certifying offset projects. The crediting program was a collaboration among the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), HELIO International, and SouthSouthNorth.

It focuses on projects that provide lasting social, economic, and environmental benefits such as below. It also applies to both voluntary offset projects and to Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects.

Climate Action Reserve (CAR)

The Climate Action Reserve is a certification body or registry for the North American carbon credit market. It aims to encourage companies and other organizations to measure, manage and reduce GHG emissions while ensuring the environmental integrity of emission reduction projects. 

While headquartered in the United States, CAR also certifies projects in Canada and Mexico. All carbon credits generated by CAR-certified projects are given a unique serial number which helps track each project effectively.

American Carbon Standard (ACR)

The American Carbon Standard is a pioneer on the voluntary emissions and carbon market in California. It was founded back in 1996 as the first GHG registry and was approved as an Offset Project Registry by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). It’s the regulatory body of the California cap-and-trade offset credit market.

Let’s move on to the mandatory or compliance carbon credit market.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) 

The United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism is considered by many as a trailblazer in carbon credit certification. 

It’s a program under the Kyoto Protocol that allows a country to implement carbon emission reduction projects in other countries and claim the reduced emissions toward its own emission targets. The funded projects can earn tradable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equal to one tonne of CO2.

The Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol operationalizes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and makes regulated carbon credits trading possible. It creates the standards for which the credits from a CDM project becomes certified and tradable within the compliance market. 

While voluntary credits are independent of government regulations under the Protocol, they can also be certified using the same standards, as long as a company’s corporate social responsibility is reflected.

So, how do those organizations certify carbon credits? 

Carbon Credit Certification: How Does It Work?

The ultimate goal of carbon credits is to reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere. Each carbon credit certification gives the owner the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses.

A carbon offset credit becomes certified only by going through the specified processes or procedures set by the certifying standard. This is what separates a high-quality and real carbon credit from other credits swarming the market.  

Carbon credits are a critical part of the global decarbonization puzzle to prevent catastrophic climate-related disasters. So, projects that generate them must show, from planning to implementation and monitoring, that they are indeed reducing emissions.

The credits don’t just reduce emissions; the extra revenue they generate help improve the life of local communities, create more jobs, and provide economic stability. 

They’re traceable, which means their environmental benefits can be claimed only once. This is critical to ensure that they’re counted only once toward carbon reduction goals. As such, certifying them is vital so as not to jeopardize the purpose of why they’re created in the first place. 

So, how do those organizations certify carbon credits? 

Carbon Credit Certification Process: Getting Started

Let’s get down to the major steps involved and walk you through it.

Project Planning. Same with other projects, as a carbon offset developer, you must estimate the climate impact of your project by planning. Then you should assess it against the standards of the carbon credit certification body. 
Get Project Approval. With all the estimates and assessments, your project is now ready for the first review by the certification organization. If all is well with your plans, you’ll get the green light. 
Third-Party Project Validation. This time, the carbon credit certification company, e.g. Verra or CDM, will perform an independent assessment of your project. This may include a site visit to validate that your project satisfies their certification standards. 
Final Review and Approval. After a successful validation, your project will now be ready for certification and be issued with certified carbon credits. You can then sell these credits via a carbon registry or use it to offset your own emissions. 
Project Monitoring. But of course, after getting your carbon credits certified, it doesn’t end there. You need to implement the monitoring plan you designed during project planning. With that, you have to submit monitoring project reports to the carbon credit certification body. This is crucial to ensure that the credits you sell did the job of reducing or removing emissions.

Plus, there will be another validation and verification every 5 years to independently assess your project impact. This is also important to see that your project works in line with the certification standard.    

In the complex realm of carbon credit certification, the narrative shifts from mere claims to tangible impact of driving genuine emissions reduction – uncertified credits offer no assurance of actual environmental progress. Acknowledging this distinction, the certifying organizations mentioned earlier play a pivotal role in the credibility of carbon offset projects.

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Carbon Removal Startup Hits $100M Fund to Save Amazon Forest

The Amazon Reforestation Fund, formed by Brazilian startup Mombak, received two separate investments worth $35 million in total from Rockefeller Foundation and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, reaching its $100mln target funding.

Mombak aims to be the world’s biggest carbon removal company generating high-quality carbon credits through reforestation of the Amazon. 

The startup’s reforestation project got support from high-profile investors including Byers Capital, Union Square Ventures, and Bain Capital Partnership Strategies. These large partners are recently joined by Rockefeller Foundation and Canada’s largest pension fund, the CPP Investments. 

Generating High-Quality Carbon Removal Credits

Mombak’s reforestation project will plant native Brazilian tree species on degraded land, ensuring trees aren’t cut down for timber production. 

Mombak’s carbon removal

The project’s activities like selecting land and plant species will use innovative technology and drones to measure carbon baselines. It also utilizes satellite imagery and bioacoustic sensors to assess biodiversity and optimize results.

The Amazon Reforestation Fund was launched in December last year aimed at raising $100 million financing to support reforestation in the region. The fund will enable Mombak to not just remove carbon dioxide but also help improve soil quality and biodiversity.

Carbon removal through nature is one of the sought-after solutions that help mitigate climate change. Forests have been the long-standing ally of the planet in avoiding too much heat by capturing carbon.  

The startup’s first project in Northern Brazil will plant 3 million trees with over 100 native species. They include 200 hundred thousand seedlings of endangered species, with over 1 million seedlings to be planted by September. 

Mombak will also start multiple projects of this kind before this year ends. The landmark carbon removal project will create jobs in the local community.

Unlike existing forests, reforesting Brazil’s pastureland to rebuild the Amazon forest produces high-quality carbon credits. It does so through additional carbon removed from the atmosphere by the new forests created. 

The project’s permanent carbon sequestration will create verified carbon removal credits that are tradable in carbon markets. They can be sold through spot trading as well as offtake agreements with end-buyers. 

The additional and permanent carbon removals created by the project attracted large investors. Rockefeller Foundation and Canada’s CPP Investments are just the two recent companies onboard.

Closing the $700B Annual Financing Gap

Canada’s largest pension fund will invest up to $30 million in Mombak’s reforestation fund and another half million in the carbon removal startup itself. Speaking for the CPP Investments, the pension fund’s global head of sustainable energies noted that:

“We expect that the value of high-quality, verifiable, nature-based carbon removal credits such as the ones produced through The Amazon Reforestation Fund will continue to rise.”

CPP, one of the largest pools of investment capital in the world, supports efforts that strengthen carbon credit markets. Investing in the potential of carbon credits is part of CPP’s pathway to net zero emissions.

CPP Investments commits its portfolio and operations to achieve net zero emissions across all scopes by 2050.

The CPP’s $30 million investment, plus a smaller outlay from the Rockefeller Foundation, brings Mombak’s Reforestation Fund to its $100 million goal, according to the company’s CEO and co-founder Peter Fernandez.

The Rockefeller Foundation is making big bets in promoting the well-being of humanity and making opportunity universal and sustainable. Its $5 million investment in Mombak’s reforestation project helps reinforce its integrity where trust is the biggest issue, Fernandez said. 

Acknowledging the importance of its small yet impactful investment, senior VP at Rockefeller Foundation Maria Kozloski remarked that nature-based solutions (NbS) play a crucial role in curbing carbon emissions but it remains short of funding. She further said that:

“[Nbs] remain grossly underfunded, with an estimated $700 billion financing gap per year… The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to help close this gap by investing in Mombak’s innovative model that seeks to remove carbon by reforesting the Amazon.”

Part of its efforts to fill in gaps in investable NbS projects, the Foundation provided a grant to Nature Conservancy. The philanthropic company also co-launched 3 other innovative initiatives namely the African Carbon Markets Initiative (ACMI), the Coal to Clean Credit Initiative (CCCI), and the Energy Transition Accelerator.

Raising the Bar for Carbon Removals

Apart from drawing in major investing companies, the carbon removal company is also working closely with leading non-government organizations. Their goal is to raise the bar in the carbon removal credit industry. 

A critical part of achieving that aim is ensuring that their reforestation projects meet the most stringent standards and requirements. As such, the startup focuses on selling carbon removal credits to high-end buyers without questioning the quality of carbon removal. These buyers use the credits to offset their own carbon emissions. 

The carbon removal industry, also known as carbon dioxide removal (CDR), is booming recently. According to, CDR purchases have increased 437% in the first half of 2023, a defining moment for CDR. Purchases climbed to about 3.4 million tonnes, showing robust growth of 5.6x versus the full-year 2022. 

Leveraging this growth, Mombak has been pre-selling carbon removal credits at over $50 each, which is a premium in voluntary carbon markets.

The carbon removal company will continue to raise more funds for its Amazon reforestation projects. The startup expects to deploy $1 billion in the next 3 to 5 years. 

This recent funding not only propels Mombak towards its goal of becoming a prominent carbon removal leader but also highlights the critical role of nature-based solutions. It also underscores the need for innovative models to address the huge financing gap in carbon removal efforts.

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Lamborghini Reveals First Concept Car for Electrification Plan

Italian supercar maker Lamborghini has revealed its concept EV car Lanzador, which captures and symbolizes its sustainability and carbon emission reduction efforts as part of its “Direzione Cor Tauri” roadmap.

Lamborghini debuted Lanzador at the Monterey Car Week, marking a significant step towards its decarbonization and electrification plans. It is the super sports car brand’s first EV offering, featuring a high ground-clearance GT with 2+2 seats. 

Lamborghini’s Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Efforts

Sustainability goes beyond just a buzzword these days and has penetrated all parts of the economy, particularly mobility. Though sports car users have considered electric vehicles unnecessary, supercar manufacturers have joined the global race to net zero emissions

They have to because of the pressure both from regulators and investors. Lamborghini is the latest to take on the challenge and drive along the road to decarbonization. Under its Cor Tauri strategy launched in 2021, the sports carmaker aims to decarbonize through the following phases:

Celebrating internal combustion engine (2021-2022)
Transitioning to hybrid (by the end of 2024)
Going first full electric (second half of the decade)

The Latin term Cor Tauri means “heart of the Bull” and refers to the brightest star of the constellation of Taurus. It shows the direction Lamborghini is taking towards an electrified future, while remaining faithful to the brand’s heart and soul.

The Italian luxury carmaker has been channeling its efforts on reducing its carbon emissions for years. Lamborghini’s production site in Sant’Agata Bolognese has been certified as carbon-neutral since 2015. Emissions generated in this site are responsible for about 90% of the company’s total carbon emissions included in its inventory.

The following table shows Lamborghini’s greenhouse gas or carbon emissions for the past three years. 

There’s a slight increase in the carmaker’s Scope 1 and 3 emissions, which was compensated by a decline in Scope 2 emissions (electricity use). Scope 1 represents the majority of emissions – 60%, followed by Scope 2 with 33%.

Overall, total emissions increased by over 2% (>400 tCO2) but emission intensity (emissions/vehicle produced) dropped to 2.7 tCO2. That’s an improvement in reductions by over 15% compared to previous year’s intensity. 

The company aims to reduce its product carbon emissions by 50% by 2025 and reach carbon neutrality by 2050 for its entire value chain. It has been implementing internal carbon reduction measures while offsetting unavoidable emissions through carbon credits

Internal efforts in cutting emissions also resulted in about 44% decrease in 2022 relative to 2014 baseline. 

Lamborghini offsets its electricity consumption emissions by purchasing Green Certificates – certifying that energy is from renewable sources. While the remaining emissions are offset by buying carbon credits – each credit representing one tonne of carbon reduction or removal. 

These credits are certified and recorded in the Eco2care VER (Verified Emissions Reduction) Registry, managed by CE.Si.S.P. Since 2020, Lamborghini has purchased over 35,600 tCO2 used to offset its emissions. 

Now, for its next major decarbonization step, the supercar maker unveiled its first EV concept Lanzador. 

Lamborghini’s First EV Concept: Lanzador

The new concept car is part of Lamborghini’s broader strategy to reduce carbon emissions for a more sustainable future. It offers a sneak peek into the carmaker’s future EVs. Remarking on this great milestone, the automaker’s CEO and Chairman, Stephan Winkelmann, said that: 

“With this concept, we are ushering in a new car segment, the Ultra GT, which is poised to offer customers a new and unparalleled driving experience, one that’s quintessentially Lamborghini, thanks to groundbreaking technologies.”

The Lanzador embodies its maker’s sustainability efforts, both in its exterior and interior design, performance, and software. 

It uses 2 electric motors, one for each axle to ensure permanent all-wheel drive in all conditions and driving styles. Using battery packs instead of burning oil without affecting performance and range is a big plus for the luxury carmaker’s carbon cutting initiatives. 

Equipped with all-active control systems, the driver can actively modify the car’s behavior while on the road. Users can personalize their driving profile to best express and suit their driving needs. All thanks to Lamborghini’s “Vision of Smart Aerodynamics” future philosophy, delivering driver requests and range requirements. 

Additionally, almost all materials used for the concept car’s interior are sustainable. The use of sustainably sourced leather, 100% renewable wool, and regenerated carbon testifies the automaker’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact without giving up Lamborghini’s brand signature – comfort and luxury.

The plastic materials from recycled fibers used in the seats are 80% more eco-friendly than new plastic made of petroleum. This and the futuristic design of the sports car showcases Lamborghini’s “Feel like a pilot” approach.

Source: Lamborghini

The Brighter Road Ahead

Winkelmann also said that their electrification plan is a big part of their goal to reduce their environmental impact. With that, Lamborghini seeks to electrify its entire product range by the end of 2024.

The sports car maker invests almost 2 billion euros over 4 years to transition to hybrid technology. This is, by far, the largest investment in the history of the Italian luxury brand. 

The production of Lanzador, Lamborghini’s concept for the fourth model, isn’t a whim of engineers and designers. It is a proof of a concrete electrification plan of the super sports carmaker that it expects to bring to production in 2028.

Though it’s a huge change in Lamborghini’s 6 decades of tradition, it will keep the brand’s DNA while demonstrating where the company is heading – towards a brighter future with EVs. 

The Italian brand is not alone in this quest. Its long-standing supercar rival Ferrari has also committed to electrification, whose all-electric GT is rumored to have 4 electric motors and will debut in 2025. Ferrari is, in fact, establishing a factory to build electric motors, inverters, and batteries for its hybrids and EVs.

Lamborghini’s debut of its EV concept car Lanzador signifies a significant stride in their commitment to decarbonization and electrification while embodying a fusion of luxury and environmental responsibility. This milestone doesn’t only underlines Lamborghini’s path toward carbon neutrality but also speaks of the broader transformation in the supercar industry.

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Blackstone’s $7.1B Credit Fund to Propel Global Energy Transition

The world’s largest private equity firm and asset manager Blackstone Inc.’s $7.1 billion credit fund will help pump capital into assets that propel energy transition such as electric vehicle factories and carbon capture facilities. 

The company said that its recently closed Blackstone Green Private Credit Fund III was the biggest fund ever raised to financially support the energy transition. 

As per the head of Blackstone Credit’s Sustainable Resources Group, Robert Horn, the transition impacts major sectors of the economy. This further led to more private capital requirements.  

Funding the Energy Transition to Decarbonize the Global Economy

Innovative and revolutionary solutions are a must for both clean energy transition and industrial decarbonization. 

According to the International Energy Association, technologies that are under development can reduce over 40% of carbon emissions in 2050. Some of these technological solutions include green hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

But these green technologies are still in their early phases and remain uncompetitive with the current carbon-intensive alternatives. Trillions of dollars in capital investments are necessary to fund their R&D and scale them up to commercialization. 

As seen below, the IEA estimates that the annual capital investment needed for net zero is over $4 trillion

Given the high risk and capital-intensive nature of those investments, there has been a shortfall in available financing today. But bridging the funding gap is crucial to decarbonize industries and reach the global net zero targets. 

Though most of global carbon emissions are covered by government net zero commitments, the private sector still has a big hole to patch. And the world needs more than $100 trillion through 2050 to decarbonize the global economy as per IEA data. 

Blackstone has committed over $15 billion in private investments that align with the broader energy transition. Its $7.1 Green Private Credit Fund III is part of the bigger $2 trillion private credit market. It’s managed by its Credit’s Sustainable Resources Platform.

Horn noted that there has been a rising demand for financing in the natural gas and renewable energy sectors. He added that incoming deals through their energy transition fund would involve sectors like carbon capture, LNG, and residential solar. 

Carbon capture (CCS or CCUS), in particular, has taken the spotlight lately, both in terms of private and public investments. 

Occidental subsidiary Oxy has acquired a carbon capture innovator startup for over $1 billion. The US government has also been betting huge in the sector and just recently revealed its $1.2 billion investment in two leading carbon capture companies, including Oxy.

Private Funding to Finance the Transition

Leveraging the rising demand for energy transition capital investments, Blackstone expects a $100 billion opportunity over the next decade. The private equity firm’s credit and insurance segment has $295 billion in assets under management. 

Its Green Private Credit Fund III includes a wide investor base comprising “sovereign wealth funds, endowments, pensions, and insurance companies”.

As part of its energy transition funding commitment, Blackstone invested $400 million in Xpansiv last year. The asset manager finds Xpansiv, the largest ESG-commodity trader, to have a sweet spot for the energy transition. 

Meanwhile, the S&P Global Commodity Insights Climate and Cleantech reported that private debt represented 22% of a certain energy transition project financing from September last year to June this year. This figure shows an expanding role of private funding or lending in energy transition financing. 

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and other government subsidies further amplify the need for private financing such as Blackstone’s fund. In a sense, the more subsidies or government grant programs made available, the more capital investments are needed. And Blackstone will help fill it up through its $7.1 billion private credit fund. 

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Cargill Pioneers Wind-Powered Ship With 37.5M High Sails to Cut Emissions

America’s largest private company and world’s largest agricultural shipping firm, Cargill, has made its maiden voyage using special sails powered partly by the wind. The goal is to study how wind power can help reduce energy use and carbon emissions of cargo ship and the entire sector.

Cargill is hauling 225 million tons of dry bulk cargo around the world each year on over six hundred vessels. One of these cargo ships is retrofitted with WindWings sails designed to cut fuel use, and thus, shipping’s carbon emissions. 

Harnessing Wind Power to Decarbonize Shipping

The maritime industry currently accounts for almost 3% of global carbon emissions largely because of its reliance on carbon-intensive bunkers. And over 80% of the global merchandise trade by volume is shipped by sea. 

According to the International Maritime Organization, the industry is producing over 830 million tonnes of carbon each year. That’s equal to spewing as much CO2 as 283 coal-fired power plants do in a year. 

The industry faces pressure from environmentalists and investors to accelerate decarbonization. As such, major players have been exploring some ways to shift away from dirtier fuels to cleaner power sources. And Cargill finds renewable wind power a promising option to explore. 

One of the commodity giant’s chartered massive cargo ships, 80,000-ton Pyxis Ocean just sailed from China to Brazil using two gigantic sails called WindWings. The ship is owned by Mitsubishi Corporation’s shipping arm while creating the revolutionary sails is also funded by the European Union

The pioneering wind-powered carrier is the world’s first to be retrofitted with two 37.5 meters or 123-foot high sails. When the vessel is in port, the wings, made from the same material as wind turbines, fold down and open out when in open water. 

The enormous wings can reduce the ship’s fuel consumption by about ⅕, according to its designer BAR Technologies. This maiden sail is an opportunity for Cargill to see if returning to the traditional way of moving ships would be the way forward for transporting goods at sea.

If the test becomes a success, the charterer will install WindWings to ten more ships. After all, “wind is there for free”, as Cargill’s ocean transportation president Jan Dieleman says. He further added that there’s no silver bullet to decarbonize the industry but believes that wind-assisted propulsion technology can help. 

Wind-Powered Sails Are Making a Comeback 

Sailing through the wind has been the way of moving things and people until powerful fossil fuel-powered ships took over. Now, wind-powered shipping is making a comeback, though not that fast.

Pyxis Ocean joins a tiny fleet of only 2 dozen large commercial ships run by some form of wind-assisted propulsion. For more than 110,000 new-build order vessels, only below 100 feature wind-assisted technology currently. 

But if more ship owners, operators, and charterers choose to also use renewable energy to fuel their fleet, it can make a huge difference in cleaning up the dirty shipping industry. 

For America’s largest private firm by revenue, the groundbreaking technology can help reduce emissions and decarbonize bulk cargo by 30%. The company also claimed that installing WindWings is possible for both existing cargo ships and new constructions. 

According to Yara Marine Technologies, the company that produced the sails, giant crude carriers can install up to six WindWings. That means more fuel and carbon emission savings. 

If the vessel is powered by a clean fuel (e.g. green methanol), the sails can drive down costs. If the cargo ship is burning fossil fuels, wind power can reduce carbon emissions. 

Here’s the estimated fuel savings of installing WindWing as per BAR Technologies:

1 WindWing sail can save 1.5 tons of oil-derived fuel per day on an average route
2 WindWing sails like the Pyxis Ocean can save 1,095 tons a year (20% of what a Kamsarmax vessel consumes each year)
Installing 3 WindWing sails on Kamsarmax ship can save about 30 tons on fuel

Saving 1 ton of marine fossil fuel use is equivalent to reducing about 3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. 

These savings on CO2 emissions is critical as the global shipping industry has to meet its ambitious targets. And same with the rest of the industries, it has to reach net zero emissions by 2050. 

Other parts of the sector have been using innovative technologies on their ship to help cut down carbon emissions. 

In June, a Norwegian cruise line made headlines by sailing the world’s most energy-efficient and first zero emission cruise ship. It’s also harnessing the power of the wind, plus the sun with its solar panel-covered retractable sails. Other efforts focus on ammonia and hydrogen for clean shipping. 

While wind-assisted propulsion technology won’t make a huge impact right now in cleaning up the sector, it’s gaining some traction. BAR Technologies and Yara Marine have another project to install WindWing sails on a different vessel. 

Cargill’s groundbreaking move is to help their partners in the maritime industry transition to a more sustainable future. As Dieleman remarked, 

“We’re always used to going the shortest way… Now, you might want to go the way where there’s more wind.”

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America’s Richest 0.1% Emits 62x More Than a Typical US Household

A new study led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests that America’s richest people, whose investment income are responsible for the considerable part of the nation’s carbon emissions, should be taxed. 

The researchers found that the top 0.1% wealthiest Americans emit 3,000 tons of carbon a year, or equal to over 62x more than what a typical American household emits – 48 tons. 

The authors of the study published in PLOS Climate said they aim to get the answer to this question: “What happens when we focus on how emissions create income, rather than how they enable consumption?”

They examined huge datasets covering 30 years to determine how income relates to carbon emissions. Their results call on US lawmakers to reconsider the current carbon taxation to address climate change. 

Richest Americans’ Share of The Nation’s Carbon Emissions 

The study’s model provided a carbon footprint for every dollar of economic activity in the U.S. The researchers did that by looking at inter-sectoral financial transfers and their associated flow of income and carbon emissions. They then came up with 2 different values for income’s carbon emissions – supplier and producer

The supplier value refers to emissions from industries/companies that supply fossil fuels while the producer value refers to carbon emitted directly from business operations themselves. 

The researchers then linked that information to households using data showing industries where people work and their earnings. They analyze data income from two different sources: active income from employment (wage/salary) and passive income from investments.

As such, their study is the first to link income from financial investments to carbon emitted in generating that earning. Here are the major insights they found out.

The Key Facts:

For 90% of Americans, wages give them the money they need to live and buy things they want. These people are in the lower and middle income households whose carbon emissions are mostly linked with their salaries. 

But for the wealthiest 10% (Top 1%+Next 9% income group), they’re getting most of their income passively from investments. And the researchers found that over 40% of the country’s national emissions were from the income of those 10%. These wealthy people earn more than $178,000 annually.

The authors also discovered that the higher income group pollutes more through their investment income. In particular, the top 1% wealthiest Americans are responsible for up to 17% of the country’s total emissions. These extra rich people make more than $550,000 a year.  

Most notably, their results also included the top 0.1% or the “super-emitters” as what the authors call them. These extremely wealthy Americans get most of their income from investing in finance, insurance, and mining industries, the report said. Their investment income drives >50% of emissions.

They’re called super-emitters because they’re responsible for producing around 3,000 tons of carbon each year. Compare that with 2.3 tons of carbon per year – the emissions limit for each person to mitigate global warming, and to the typical American household emissions of 48 tons a year

The authors also shared this insight: 

15 days of income of the rich in the top 0.1% pollute as much carbon as a lifetime of income for those in the bottom 10%.

The study further suggests that income size isn’t the only contributor to climate but also the industries that create it. 

For instance, a household that earns $980,000 from fossil fuel industries is a super-emitter. However, a household sourcing income from the hospital industry has to earn $11 million to generate the same amount of carbon.

With these facts, the lead author, Jared Starr, noted how relevant their findings are for policymakers, saying that:

“This research gives us insight into the way that income and investments obscure emissions responsibility… An income-based lens helps us focus on exactly who is profiting the most from climate-changing carbon pollution, and design policies to shift their behavior.”

Tax The Rich People’s Income Instead of Consumption

The researchers recommend that governments must rethink how they use carbon taxes. Rather than taxing things that people buy, (consumption-based approach), policymakers should focus instead on making shareholders responsible for the carbon emissions of their investment incomes. 

The authors believe that a shareholder-based taxation can help countries achieve the goal of keeping global temperature levels to 1.5C. 

According to Starr, consumption-based taxation misses something crucial about limiting carbon emissions and noted that it is rather “regressive”. It means the carbon tax punishes the poor and has little impact on the wealthiest people whose large amount of income is saved or reinvested into stocks. That portion of income is, therefore, not subject to a carbon tax. 

Take for instance the case of the top 1% of household earners who’s responsible for 15-17% of national emissions. That carbon pollution is about 2.5x higher than their consumer-related emissions (6%), as per the report. 

The trend is exactly the opposite for the bottom 50% of American earners whose share of national emissions is 31%. That’s 2x more than their income-based carbon emissions (14%). 

The further the income distribution goes up, from the top 10% to top 0.1%, the more carbon emissions are generated from investments, instead of salaries the households earn. 

Thus, carbon taxes focusing on shareholder income linked to carbon emissions seem to be more reasonable, the authors suggest. This can help incentivize the rich people who significantly profit from their carbon-intensive investments such as oil and gas to decarbonize their industries. The government can then use the revenues earned from their taxes to invest in decarbonization initiatives. 

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