Supporting the projects needed to solve the climate crisis


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To solve the climate crisis and reach global net zero emissions a wide range of solutions will need to be deployed. Forests need to be protected and restored, new energy solutions introduced, politicians need to be convinced to stop supporting fossil fuels and carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere and stored away permanently. To help make this happen the impact platform Milkywire has set up a Climate Transformation Fund that finds and supports a wide range of projects currently addressing the climate crisis. We also open the possibility for everyone, companies and individuals, to contribute to the same projects. Klarna has contributed over 1 million USD to projects selected for the fund.


Maximizing the impact of donations Our aim is to find projects where your financial contributions will make the biggest impact. Many important solutions are happening without the need for carbon finance. Wind and solar power for example is already profitable in large parts of the world and market forces are deploying them quickly. But other projects are unprofitable, or lack a market besides people wanting to pay extra for helping to solve climate change. This is the case with carbon removal or supporting non profit groups trying to create policy change. We want to support projects that won't happen without your donation, and help bring about the growth of new solutions.

How we select projects We focus on three areas when selecting projects and have defined a framework (see below) of requirements and criteria to evaluate them against.  We also work closely with an expert advisory group who give input on our framework, help us evaluate and select the projects. 

Not offsetting To offset means you count emission reductions or removed carbon against your own emissions and buy a certain amount of carbon credits to claim carbon neutrality. We’re taking a different approach trying to create the maximum climate impact of each donation. By focusing on climate impact we open the possibility to fund climate advocacy projects, catalytic research in new removal techniques and to donate to small effective grassroots organizations that can not bear the cost of carbon credit certifications. We also believe that companies and individuals have a responsibility to reduce their emissions, our focus is therefore on climate impact, not on neutrality claims.

Work in progress We have selected the first projects to benefit from this initiative. Details on all the projects can be found here.


Advisory group In the selection, we have worked with an advisory group to help us choose the most impactful and sustainable climate projects for the portfolio. Final decisions on chosen projects are made by Milkywire but the ambition is to follow the advisory group’s guidance as far as possible. The group members have different competencies that cover the areas in the portfolio but every member does not review every project. The advisory group is independent of Milkywire and the members do not necessarily endorse all of the projects that are chosen for the Climate Transformation Fund.


The members of the advisory group are:

  • Karen Holl, Professor of Environmental Studies University of California,

  • Jan Mazurek, Senior director of carbon removal at Climateworks foundation

  • Emily Thai, manager at Giving Green (with input from Dan Stein and others in the team)


Former advisory group members (2021):

  • Holly Jean Buck, assistant professor Dept. of Environment & Sustainability, University at Buffalo


Milkywire team Milkywire has a team of 40+ staff, the persons responsible for developing the Climate Transformation Fund is: 


Fund manager - Robert Höglund Robert specializes in carbon removal, and on how the corporate sector best can contribute to climate action. He previously headed Oxfam Sweden's policy and communications team, took part in the Science-based Target Initiatives' Net-zero standard expert advisory group, and has written policy reports on net zero, carbon removal, and consumption emissions. Robert sits on the board of the research program Mistra sustainable consumption and writes regularly on carbon removal for the publication Illuminem.


Contact Robert - Email


Program officer - Natalya Yakusheva Jarlebring Natalya holds a PhD in Environmental Science, from Södertörn University,  with her thesis focusing on nature conservation governance. She has since worked as a postdoctoral researcher on  International Forest Policy at the Department of Forest Science at the University of Helsinki, where she focused on the EU debates around forest-related issues and its implications for the EU climate commitments. Natalya also has extensive experience working as a consultant in natural resource management and development of sustainability policies.


Contact Natalya - Email

Framework


This is the first version of our framework and details in it will be updated as we progress with the initiative.


Restoring and protecting nature We will support screened and vetted organizations that preserve forests and ecosystems and restore degraded areas. This helps reduce emissions, absorb CO₂ and conserve our nature globally. See projects supported here.


Requirements:

  • Projects either protecting or increasing carbon stocks in nature.

  • Organization is screened and vetted by Milkywire or a third party.

  • Sustainable from a social and local environmental perspective. The deployment of the project does not cause harm to people or local ecosystems. 


Criteria:

  • Co-benefits. Projects are given a higher priority if they create benefits for people in poverty, or if they help ecosystems in other ways beyond storing more carbon.

  • Catalytic effect of donation. We prefer projects that be replicated, spread to new communities, or help create new innovative solutions.


Permanent carbon removal solutions To stop the climate crisis, we must cut CO₂ emissions in half over the next 10 years and then bring them close to zero. But science shows that emissions reductions won’t be enough to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Therefore, we must also remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it permanently. By supporting new ways of removing and storing carbon, we contribute to these methods developing and becoming cheaper for others to implement.


For methods where there is no supply of carbon removal certificates we will also consider supporting research, helping new methods prove its concept and become operational.


See projects supported here.


Requirements:

  • Happening now, the CO₂ is captured in the coming year(s), not decades from now.

  • High additionality, the tonnes removed wouldn’t happen without someone paying for it.

  • Sustainable from a social and local environmental perspective. The deployment of the project does not cause harm to people or local ecosystems. 


Criteria:

  • Potential. The method has the potential to become a large part of the solution to the climate crisis.

  • A catalytic effect. Our donation or purchase of removal certificates leads to a larger growth of the method than just the tonnes that we purchase.

  • Durability (permanence). The CO₂ should ideally be stored away for hundreds or thousands of years.

  • Certainty of the project happening as agreed.

  • Co-benefits. Projects are given a higher priority if they create benefits for people in poverty, or if they help ecosystems in other ways beyond storing more carbon.


When credits or certificates are bought they will be retired, which means they cannot be resold and will not be counted as a financial instrument.


Decarbonization / Getting off fossil fuels  We will support effective projects that reduce emissions but are not profitable enough to happen on their own, this can for example be building renewable energy to replace fossil fuels in remote locations. We will also support civil society organizations that are effective in advancing efforts to accelerate the phase-out of fossil fuels.


See projects supported here.


Requirements and Criteria:


A) Renewable energy


Requirements: 

  • Sustainable from a social and local environmental perspective. The deployment of the project does not cause harm to people or local ecosystems.

  • Vetted by a third party, or certified.


Criteria: 

  • High additionality. We want to support projects that are unlikely to happen without our support, (it is for example unlikely we would support a project if similar projects are happening without donations or sale of carbon credits).

  • Catalytic effect. Potential of the type of solution to scale and create impact outside of the project boundaries (for example by being a first of kind project for a new solution).  

  • Co-benefits. Projects are given a higher priority if they create benefits for people in poverty, or if they help ecosystems in other ways beyond storing more carbon.

B) Projects for policy change


Requirements:

  • We get to earmark the donation to a specific project or stream of work rather than giving general funds to the organization.

  • Organization is screened and vetted by Milkywire or a third party.


Criteria:

  • Potential effect of the policy proposals advocated for by the organization.

  • Track-record of organization in bringing about concrete policy change.

  • Chance of the project happening without the donation (lower chance, higher grade).

Inviting feedback We are interested in getting feedback on our approach and framework, please send any thoughts or questions to climate@milkywire.com