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Funding tomorrow's climate solutions - Milkywire Selects New Nature and Emission Reduction projects

The Climate Transformation Fund has selected new projects in nature protection and decarbonization from over 700 applications, adding to 13 new CDR projects.

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Robert Höglund & Natalaya Yakusheva Jarlebring

Jul 03, 2024

2 min read

Updated 14 days ago

The Climate Transformation Fund has chosen new projects in nature protection and decarbonization after assessing over 700 applications. This follows the earlier announcement of thirteen new carbon dioxide removal (CDR) projects.

Nature Protection and Restoration

The nature category attracted over 500 applications from 80+ countries, spanning small community initiatives to large NGO projects. This overwhelming response underscores the urgent need for funding nature-based climate solutions. Our selection process prioritized projects with direct impact on carbon stocks, significant community and ecosystem co-benefits, and high potential for replication or innovation. 

We prioritized regions with high carbon storage potential and urgent restoration needs, particularly in East Africa, Asia, and Latin America. While most applications focused on forest-related projects, we were excited by proposals targeting diverse ecosystems, including marine habitats. The range of project scales highlights the need for a varied approach, supporting both community-level initiatives and large-scale efforts to develop replicable models for nature-based solutions across different contexts. 

We tend to deprioritize nature projects that offer carbon credits since such projects are better fit within the existing Voluntary Carbon Market. Our commitment to ongoing support for existing nature projects that perform well limits our capacity to fund as many new initiatives annually as we do in other areas like CDR.

Selected Projects:

  1. Ulysses: This project focuses on large-scale seagrass ecosystem restoration in Western Australia using robotic technology. Ulysses is working in collaboration with the University of Western Australia. The group aims to restore thousands of hectares of seagrass meadows, which can store large amounts of carbon annually. The project develops innovative robotic technology for seed collection, planting, and monitoring. Ulysses, in partnership with UWA, provides a novel, scalable method with significant co-benefits for carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and coastal ecosystems.

  2. Jocotoco Conservation Foundation: The "Plant the Forests of Tomorrow" project in Ecuador aims to reforest 400 hectares with 200,000 native trees over 8 years in the Buenaventura Reserve. Jocotoco works on both establishing nature reserves and reforesting degraded landscapes in some of the world's most threatened biodiversity hotspots. Jocotoco has a strong track record of establishing reserves and preventing species extinction, as well as addressing the root causes of deforestation.

  3. Justdiggit Digital Regreening: This project develops a mobile app for regreening techniques like Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). The app delivers real-time, location-specific advice directly to farmers' phones. This approach reduces intervention costs by eliminating the need for in-person visits to every location. We already support Justdiggit’s regular work since 2021, and now added this project because it builds on proven FMNR methods, increasing cost-efficiency and potential for rapid scaling in dry landscapes.

Emission reductions

The emission reduction pillar received over 200 applications. Projects spanned the globe focusing on areas such as hydrogen fuel systems, eco-friendly cooking solutions, solar energy, biogas, reforestation, water quality management, waste transformation, capacity building, education, as well as completely new technologies. 

Our selection process aimed to identify projects that occupy a critical 'sweet spot' between high-impact potential and measurable outcomes, focusing on initiatives beyond early-stage R&D or capacity building, but yet not so advanced and market-ready that they've lost their catalytic potential. We look both at the direct impact a project can have today in reduced emissions, as well as the long-term catalytic impact. 

Selected Projects:

  1. Precision Development (PxD): This project promotes Leaf Color Charts (LCCs) among smallholder rice farmers in India to help farmers optimize nitrogen fertilizer use, thereby reducing their production costs and nitrous oxide emissions for the global community. PxD will collaborate with an implementation partner to distribute 10,000 LCCs with accompanying digital advisory services during this project. This project addresses the critical need for timely and customized fertilizer application to reduce GHG emissions, with the potential for continued scaling through government and other partners and significant long-term emissions reduction.

  2. LUMS/Neubolt: This initiative introduces Electric Three-Wheelers (E3Ws) in Pakistan, replacing traditional three-wheelers with E3Ws with swappable batteries. The project implements solar- and biogas-powered battery swapping stations in peri-urban agricultural areas. Using the energy efficiency of E3Ws the project demonstrates a scalable model for sustainable mobility in Pakistan.

  3. Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI): CHAI will work on the high impact project of transitioning a portfolio of hospitals in South Africa's Western Cape Province to renewable energy. This could be a high impact measure that is currently not occurring due to the limited capacity of the department of health and because of bureaucratic hurdles to innovative financial and energy contracts. The project has the potential to reduce emissions by hundreds of thousands of tons, and leverages CHAI's extensive experience in health sector procurement and innovative finance.

Fund Impact

Since 2021, the Climate Transformation Fund has supported 30 projects worldwide. By the end of this year, we expect to have paid out more than $13 million to over 45 climate projects in total. [Donations to and from the fund are handled by WRLD Foundation a registered 501(c)(3) charity, with Milkywire doing project sourcing and reporting.] 

The fund is backed by companies like Klarna, Spotify, ING Bank, BioGaia, Northzone, and Meniteter. Many of these companies have implemented internal carbon fees, taxing themselves to generate budgets for climate support. 

If you're interested in joining us to scale climate solutions, support pioneering CDR solutions, help accelerate decarbonization, raise the bar on policy ambitions, or learn about setting an internal carbon fee, please get in touch.

About the author(s)
robert picture
Robert HöglundCTF Manager

Robert Höglund is a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and climate policy expert. In addition to managing the Climate Transformation Fund, he co-founded the CDR market overview, works with the NGO Carbon Gap, and publishes reports and articles on carbon removal and corporate climate contributions. He is a member of the EU Expert Group on Carbon Removals, the Science-based Target initiative's (SBTi) Technical Advisory Group, and the board of the KTH-led research program Mistra sustainable consumption. Robert previously headed Oxfam Sweden's policy and communications team and founded the Climate Goal Initiative in Sweden.

Natalya picture
Natalya Yakusheva JarlebringSenior Environmental Lead

Natalya holds a PhD in Environmental Science and has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher on International Forest Policy at the Department of Forest Science at the University of Helsinki. There she focused on the forest-climate nexus in implementation of the EU climate commitments. Natalya has extensive experience working as a consultant in natural resource management and development of sustainability policies for several international and donor organizations such as UNEP, UNDP, and GIZ.

Related Funds
Climate Transformation Fund

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