Tech Giants Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Salesforce Launch 20 Million Ton Nature-Based Carbon Removal Buyers Coalition

Digital Giants having a combined commitment to purchase up to 20 million tonnes of nature-based carbon removal credits, Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Salesforce today announced the formation of the Symbiosis Coalition, a new advance market commitment (AMC) partnership indicated to foster the growth and development of the nature-based carbon removal market.

The alliance, in the phrases of the companies, aims to send an explicit message of demand that will facilitate the development of science-based, high-impact restorative initiatives that will contribute to the global climate goals.

Kate Brandt, Chief Sustainability Officer at Google, said:

“Google is thrilled to join other Symbiosis founders and members to help grow the nature-based carbon removal market in a way that is firmly guided by science and has a measurable impact on the atmosphere. While we’re first and foremost committed to reducing emissions from our operations and value chain, we recognize that won’t be enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change.”

The significant 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) research on climate change mitigation indicates that in order to maintain global warming to 1.5°C, carbon dioxide removal techniques must increase up to billions of tonnes per year over the next several decades. The study also pointed out that although there are a number of technologies out there for capturing and storing CO2, the most currently in their development and have a relatively small operational footprint.

The IPCC, estimating that ecosystem restoration programmes might result in at least 3 gigatons of CO2 emissions reduction annually by 2030, highlighted the potential of nature-based solutions to contribute to emissions reductions in the most recent report on climate change.

The tech giants pointed out the challenges and complexity involved in equally involving Indigenous Peoples and local communities, as well as how to balance the beneficial effects of carbon sequestration with other environmental co-benefits, in their press release announcing the establishment of the new coalition. The organisation moved on to state that “a perceived lack of high-quality restoration projects and uncertainty around willingness to pay has hampered the nature-based carbon removal market,” driving off investors and diminishing the trust of the public.

Melanie Nakagawa, Chief Sustainability Officer at Microsoft, said:

“High-quality, nature-based solutions are vital to addressing climate change, and our work with the Symbiosis Coalition is a key step towards realizing our carbon negative goal by 2030 through a diversified portfolio of carbon removal. This collaboration will help build the overall market for these solutions, leading to more restoration purchases that benefit all of us. Continued investment in carbon removal is important not just to meet our goals but for the world to meet its goals.”

Through a joint request for proposal (RFP), the coalition anticipates to provide members an opportunity to purchase nature-based carbon removal credits. The initial RFP will be focused around afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation projects (ARR), which includes agroforestry. The criteria for the projects will emphasise factors like additionality, leakage, and pathways to creating long-lasting and durable projects. In addition, the coalition has plans to align on criteria for mangrove restoration projects in future years.

Blair Swedeen, Global Head of Net Zero and Sustainability at Meta, said:

“We are excited to join other leading companies to signal our support for the highest quality carbon removal projects that have an impact for people and the planet. Reducing our emissions and helping to scale a robust carbon market that includes nature-based and technological carbon removal solutions are essential parts of achieving our sustainability goals, and we’re proud to partner with our peers to help tackle the climate crisis.”

The business organisations expressed their intention to include more businesses in the coalition and to communicate the understanding they obtained to the public with the goal to increase trust in renewable resources for the purpose of managing climate change.

Suzanne DiBianca, EVP and Chief Impact Officer at Salesforce, added:

“Through effective collaboration, we can rapidly scale high quality nature-based credits and improve market integrity, driving significant benefits for both people and the planet.”

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