Co-authored by Mona
Emissions reduction alone is not enough to address the climate crisis. Carbon removal is an essential part of any solution. In fact, all IPCC 1.5c scenarios feature annual carbon removal at the gigaton level — somewhere between 8 to 13 gigatons per year. To get to this annual scale, we need a portfolio of different engineered and nature-based approaches. Out of all of these solutions, nature-based reforestation, the process of replanting an area with trees, offers the largest-scale (quality and quantity) opportunity to remove carbon today.
At the heart of reforestation, the Amazon rainforest is the problem and the solution. As Carlos Nobre and Thomas Lovejoy write: “The precious Amazon is teetering on the edge of functional destruction and, with it, so are we. […] The loss of forests will lead to staggering losses of biodiversity, carbon, and, in turn, human well-being. There is still time to save, if not the entire Amazon, then most of it; if not every species, then the great majority.”
This is the mission of our recent investment, Mombak.
Mombak is vertically integrated and comprised of three key functions. First, it acquires deforested and degraded land using a scientific, legal, and social evaluation process. Next, it reforests that land with dozens of native Brazilian tree species, leveraging natural regeneration techniques. Then, it works with 3rd parties to verify carbon offsets, which it then sells. This vertically integrated model is designed to ensure the quality and durability of the credits created thereby.
At scale, Mombak can remove 1M tCO2 a year. In addition to carbon removal, Mombak creates job opportunities in local communities, promotes biodiversity, and ensures that those regenerated forests will be permanently preserved.
Mombak’s first project is a $100M fund to reforest the Amazon that has received significant commitments from world-class investors.
We are announcing today that we are investors in Mombak along with Bain Capital Partnership Strategies, Kaszek Ventures, and Byers Capital. Peter Fernandez and Gabriel Silva are experienced and committed entrepreneurs who have assembled an extremely qualified scientific team to tackle this bold challenge. We are glad they selected us to be along for the journey.