These are the projects supported within the Climate Transformation Fund so far.
Klarna has contributed 2.7 million USD to projects selected for the fund (previously called portfolio) in collaboration with Milkywire and WRLD foundation. In addition, the WRLD foundation (previously Milkywire foundation) has also received and allocated donations from Klarna's customers to projects in the fund.
Milkywire now opens up for contributions from other companies to the fund. Future contributions could go to the projects listed below, but it is not guaranteed and, in part, depends on how funding needs and availability develops. Milkywire will also continue to search for high-impact opportunities within the different areas to evolve the initiative.
Read about the selection process and framework here.
Heirloom is a new company developing promising, novel technology to extract CO₂ directly from the air using common minerals. The process starts by maximizing the mineral surface area exposed to the ambient air. Then, after absorbing CO₂ like a sponge, the minerals are heated, releasing the CO₂ from the mineral to be captured and stored underground permanently.
Their goal is to be able to do this at the cost of just 50 USD per ton. Being an early customer is helping them capture their first tonnes and get started on their journey to remove and store CO₂ cheaply and at scale.
Motivation for including Heirloom in the portfolio:
Heirloom technology is safe, peer-reviewed (1), scalable and has the potential to become a cheap way of permanently storing CO2. At the same time, the costs of removing their first tonnes are very high, and they need early adopters that can tolerate a high-price tag in exchange for the potential for a high catalytic effect.
(1) Ambient weathering of magnesium oxide for CO2 removal from air, McQueen et al, Nature Communications (2020) Link
When you grow rice, you get leftover husks that can either be burnt or decomposed, releasing the carbon stored in the plant. Husk in Cambodia creates biochar from the rice husks instead, stabilizing the carbon. Together with nutrients, this biochar is used as fertilizer by organic farmers, restoring soil health and increasing yields. Our support is helping Husk build their second biochar facility.
Motivation for choosing HUSK:
HUSK uses a feedstock (rice husk) that otherwise would have decomposed rapidly when used as chicken bedding and transforms it into biochar to create a fertilizer sold to organic farmers, which increases yields significantly. Their model contributes both to increasing farmers' incomes, restoring soils, and removing carbon. There is considerable potential for them to scale up, but they need more customers for their carbon removal certificates for that to happen.
MASH Makes creates biochar from leftover biomass. The company is active in India, targeting regions with arid and semi-arid soils that benefit significantly from the added biochar. This process creates carbon storage and simultaneously contributes to reduced air pollution, using agricultural residues that would otherwise have been burnt. Our support is helping them build their second biochar facility and enabling MASH to remediate the lands involved for farming, thereby enhancing the livelihoods of the local community. All carbon removal credits created in this project were issued through a fully-digitized marketplace and platform, Carbonfuture, whose science-based approach ensures the carbon sink certificates generated remain traceable, transparent, and thus trustworthy.
Motivation for choosing MASH:
This project has a large number of important co-benefits. Reduced air pollution, remediated soils, increased crop yields, carbon removal, and lesser dependence on traditional NPK fertilizers and irrigation. The project targets drought-prone regions and aims to address a core issue of crop residue burning in India by providing a carbon-negative and easily scalable solution. Scalability is driven by MASH's decentralized, modular and cost-effective approach to biochar production and application.
Motivation for using biochar as a carbon removal solution:
Biochar is a carbon removal solution with the potential for significant co-benefits. If applied to degraded soils, it can increase yields significantly. It can also lower emissions of other greenhouse gases from soils (3, 4). When using feedstocks that would have decomposed quickly if not for the biochar production, the positive effect on climate is fast.
Biochar is not as permanent a storage solution as, for example, direct air capture. Still, the available science points to a potential storage time of well over 100 years for quality biochar made with high temperatures (5, 6, 7). However, there are some uncertainties around how different feedstocks, soil types, and soil temperatures affect the permanence (8). The darkening of the soil when applying biochar could decrease its climate benefit somewhat, but soils covered with crops throughout the year would minimize this (9).
The biochar carbon removal certificates bought through Husk and Carbon futures/ Mash are EBC-sink certified, which stipulates the quality of the biochar, how it must be produced, and the final use (10). The EBC also does what they call a conservative calculation of the permanence of the biochar, assuming 74% of the carbon remains after 100 years, and only allows project developers to credit that part when issuing certificates.
Silicate is exploring how returned concrete and other waste mineral products can be used to capture CO₂ cheaply and quickly. It is spread on fields, replacing the need for liming while capturing CO₂ at the same time. This method could potentially capture hundreds of millions of tons of CO₂.
Motivation for choosing Silicate:
This is a low-tech way of cheaply storing CO₂ using a waste stream that is currently underutilized. By being the first customer, we help Silicate test and prove the viability of the method. Silicate's approach to measurement in the field also offers a robust assessment of actual carbon removal rates and will be a verifiable measure of carbon removal volumes.
InterEarth grows a multi-species selection of highly adapted coppicing woody plants in Australia. Following periodic trimming, the harvested biomass is buried and encapsulated in dedicated chambers for long-term storage to permanently store the carbon captured within the biomass.
Motivation for choosing InterEarth:
The method has the potential to cost-effectively and permanently remove large amounts of CO₂ but has so far not been explored. By being an early customer, we help InterEarth test out its approach, exploring its viability. However, we recognize if further scaling up beyond current project areas in Australia is to happen, competition with other land uses needs to be carefully considered.
Many small farmers in warm countries would like to have more trees on their farms. These trees contribute to more water remaining in the ground and create shade for plants to grow. Justdiggit and their partner LEAD Foundation are teaching farmers to use simple and natural methods to grow the tree stumps they already have into large mature ones.
Motivation for choosing Just diggit:
Just diggit is using a method called farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR). Many of the pitfalls of reforestation are avoided by enhancing the growth of the small trees farmers already have on their land. There is strong evidence for FMNRs positive effects on incomes, biodiversity, and carbon capture (11, 12). Just diggit also has an impressive track record and is working long term with the farmers, following up the project for 20 years. This project is also part of the World Resource Institutes' (WRI) Terramatch service, which includes vetting by the WRI
(11) Dryland tree management for improved household livelihoods: Farmer managed natural regeneration in Niger, Haglund et al (2011) Link
(12) Effects of farmer-managed natural regeneration on livelihoods in semi-arid West Africa, Binam et al, Environ Econ Policy Stud, (2015) Link
It's a huge problem that rainforests are being cut down to make room for palm oil plantations or livestock. Stopping deforestation is one of the key aspects of solving the climate crisis. Warsi in Indonesia helps local communities get forestry licenses for their land, so they have the legal rights to it and can prevent it from being cut down. Our support enables them to create new projects and protect approximately 40,500 hectares through community land tenure in 4 villages. In total, the estimated carbon dioxide prevented will be 700,000 tonnes.
Motivation for choosing Warsi:
Giving local communities the right to their land is a method that has proven successful in reducing deforestation (13, 14, 15, 16). Warsi has a long track record of successfully helping local communities access forestry licenses to protect their lands. They are also a long-standing partner of the Rainforest Foundation Norway, one of the world's leading NGOs engaged in rainforest protection. By funding this project, we help them expand Warsis work into new areas in Indonesia.
(13) Does secure land tenure save forests? A meta-analysis of the relationship between land tenure and tropical deforestation. Link
(14) Community managed forests and forest protected areas: An assessment of their conservation effectiveness across the tropics. Link
(15) Geospatial Data Brings Indigenous and Community Lands to the Forefront of Forest Management. Link
(16) Collective property rights reduce deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Link
Plant with Purpose works in rural communities to share knowledge on nature restoration and regenerative agricultural practices. This leads to improved yields, increased food sovereignty, and improved water quality and access.
Motivation for choosing Plant with Purpose:
By supporting the Plant with Purpose project in Tanzania, we will help them engage with more communities and plant almost 300,000 trees. This project showcases the positive impact of more trees and improved agricultural practices and creates conditions for sustainable long-term community engagement and maintenance of results.
HRW exposes fossil fuel harms, including to health. In 2023 they will follow up on work in Bosnia and South Africa and launch new research in a fossil fuel-producing country like Russia. They will also continue global advocacy aimed at ending international public financing for coal and other fossil fuels.
Motivation for choosing Human rights watch:
HRW is a highly capable organization with a multifaceted approach to fighting fossil fuels. They had encouraging progress in 2022 and have a significant funding gap for their work, so support is needed.
Africa is the continent with the greatest need for more energy. The energy needs to be clean, affordable, and reliable. The organization Clean Air Task Force is building on their previous highly successful decarbonization work in the US and has created an Africa energy and climate innovation program to lay the foundation for a clean energy future. They are focused on local needs, enabling growth and economic development, not just microgrids for household consumption. We believe their work has a high chance of influencing clean energy development in Africa and our support helps them scale up the project.
Motivation for choosing Clean Air Task Force:
Clean Air Task Force has a long history of policy work being successful in bringing down emissions. The Founders pledge and Giving Green, organizations that advise donors on philanthropic giving, have put the Clean air task force as their top recommendation.
They also need more funds to expand their work into new areas such as this project. Clean energy access in Africa is an under-prioritized area, and due to CATF's excellent track record, there is reason to believe this work too could become catalytic.
New Energy Nexus is a global nonprofit providing funds, accelerators, and networks to drive clean energy innovation and adoption. This project will specifically focus on establishing a policy and regulatory framework that supports the growth of clean energy technology startups in Indonesia, working to educate local and national governments.
Motivation for choosing New Energy Nexus:
NEX is an established organization with a good global track record and strong results from supporting clean energy startups in Indonesia. The needs for intervention in Indonesia are great, with increasing energy needs and an expanding coal sector. To facilitate investment in decarbonization, the business environment for clean energy companies needs to improve, and we think NEX is a good organization to help make this happen.
BZE is an independent think-tank working on net-zero pathways for Australia, highlighting pathways that show how the green transition benefits the economy. They have been successful in past work, including implementing strategies to reduce emissions and getting investments in renewable energy.
Motivation for choosing Beyond Zero Emissions:
Australia is a highly fossil-fuel-dependent country, and BZE is one of the few organizations demonstrating a track record in bringing about real change. Our support will help them expand their work and increase the chance that well-crafted policy proposals win support. BZE is also one of Giving Green's top recommendations for climate advocacy organizations to support.
This is a novel research project in Nepal on how changing farming practices can produce more biomass on land used for food production. More biomass means more carbon captured in plants that then can be converted to biochar, stabilizing the carbon and storing it for hundreds of years.
Motivation for choosing Carbon farming study, Atmosfair, and Ithaka institute:
The global potential for biochar has been estimated to be 0,3-2 billion tons of CO2 removed per year using existing streams of waste biomass. However, the potential could rise significantly if more biomass could be produced together with food, avoiding taking new land into use for biomass production. The same applies to other uses of biomass to store carbon or replace fossil fuels. This novel project involving some of the world's best biochar researchers can create new knowledge that, when spread, could significantly increase the potential for biochar and other carbon removal methods using biomass without negatively affecting food production.
Previously funded projects
Climeworks empowers people to reverse climate change by permanently removing carbon dioxide from the air with its direct air capture technology. The air-captured CO2 is returned to earth, stored safely and permanently away for millions of years.
Motivation for choosing Climeworks:
We chose Climeworks due to the high quality of the solution. Climeworks uses renewable energy in Iceland to store CO2 for thousands of years without any direct side effects. Their solution has been analysed in a peer-reviewed LCA (2). In order to scale direct air capture to the climate-relevant level required, a market demand for carbon dioxide removal must be created to show there is a growing interest in such solutions. Our support contributes to building a critical mass of customers required for this scale-up. Climeworks is also recommended by Giving Green.
(2) Deutz, S., Bartow, A. Life-cycle assessment of an industrial direct air capture process based on temperature–vacuum swing adsorption. Nat Energy 6, 203–213 (2021). Link
While identifying projects, it has become evident that there is a need for many more companies to develop carbon removal solutions. Therefore, two research institutions, TU Delft and ETH Zurich, have partnered with Climate KIC and other partners to create an accelerator for new European carbon removal startups to develop new solutions. Our support contributes to getting the initiative off the ground.
Motivation for choosing The ClimAccelerator Program:
By supporting an accelerator program specifically devoted to carbon removal companies, we help get more shots on target. In addition, our funding of the program is matched by Climate KIC, helping to get more money for new carbon removal solutions.
This is a project that has started and is now fully funded for this year.
(3) Biochar in agriculture – A systematic review of 26 global meta-analyses (Schmidt et al 2021) Link
(4) How biochar works, and when it doesn't: A review of mechanisms controlling soil and plant responses to biochar. (Joseph, Cowie et al 2021) Link
(5) Feedstock choice, pyrolysis temperature, and type influence biochar characteristics: a comprehensive meta-data analysis review, Ippolito et al (2020) Link (Also see reference 3 and 4)
(6) Stability of biochar in soil.” In Biochar for environmental management, Lehmann, Johannes, Claudia Czimczik, David Laird, and Saran Sohi, pp. 215-238. Routledge, 2012.
(7) IPCC: Appendix 4 Method for Estimating the Change in Mineral Soil Organic Carbon Stocks from Biochar Amendments: Basis for Future Methodological Development (2019) Link
(8) Pyrogenic carbon capture and storage, Schmidt et al (2018) Link
(9) Albedo Impact on the Suitability of Biochar Systems To Mitigate Global Warming (Meyer 2012) Link
WithOneSeed is using a unique approach for forestation, paying small-scale farmers in Timor Leste to grow and maintain new trees on their land. The farmers get paid every year to take care of the trees, with each tree being tracked via an RFID chip and visited by project staff each year. This Gold Standard certified project has led to significantly higher incomes for the local population and captures CO₂ sustainably.
Motivation for choosing WithOneSeed:
Reforestation can be an effective carbon removal solution if done right. The fact that WithOneSeed continuously pays farmers to take care of the planted trees is an integral part of why we chose them. So often, the people who plant trees are left with the cost of taking care of them, harming the individual farmer and leading to more trees dying. WithOneSeed works closely with communities, increasing their incomes and achieving impressive results regarding tree survival. They also have a follow-up model where each tree has an RFID chip, and each farmer is visited by project staff every year.
Fifty thousand people live on Mafia Island in Tanzania. However, as it is not connected to the national electricity grid on the mainland, it is almost entirely dependent on diesel generators. A new renewable power source is being developed by a local company, utilizing residues from old, unproductive coconut trees and native coppice crops, gasified to generate electricity and heat. Our support enables this project to scale up and move from a pilot facility to a bigger one. Renewable energy reduces the amount of diesel burnt, leading to lower emissions.
Motivation for choosing Biomass gasifier Atmosfair and Kisiwa Farming Limited:
This type of "high-hanging fruit" project needs carbon finance to happen since its high risks render it uninteresting for investors. Providing baseload power 24/7 helps create a fossil-free electricity system that can also include solar and wind power. This model, when proven, can also spread to other places.