Microsoft and carbon removal startup Mombak announced a one of the largest-ever nature-based carbon removal offtake agreements globally, with Mombak providing the tech giant with up to 1.5 million carbon removal credits from its reforestation projects in the Brazilian Amazon.
Founded in 2021, Brazil-based Mombak is focused on large-scale carbon removal projects, starting with native, biodiverse reforestation of the Amazon rainforest. The company’s solution targets capturing carbon through large-scale reforestation of degraded, unproductive pastureland with native tree species and assisted natural regeneration, with co-benefits including reversing biodiversity loss, improving watershed assets and generating employment and social impact in local communities.
According to Mombak, the new agreement will enable the company to reestablish around 25 forests in deforested areas of the Brazilian Amazon biome, containing at least 30 million trees of more than 100 native Brazilian species, including several species threatened with extinction.
Microsoft added that the project is anticipated to remove as much as 1.5 million tons of carbon through reforestation of degraded Brazilian pastureland using native and biodiverse tree species.
Peter Fernandez, CEO of Mombak, said:
“Microsoft and Mombak both want to contribute to scaling a high-integrity carbon removal market. Reforesting the Amazon currently represents the world’s largest carbon removal opportunity. It also enriches biodiversity, creates quality jobs in marginalized areas, and helps avoid the Amazon tipping point. Our relationship with Microsoft reinforces the importance of this critical work.”
The agreement marks a further expansion of Microsoft’s portfolio of carbon removal deals, forming part of the company’s initiative to become carbon negative by 2030, and to remove all of its historical emissions by 2050. The company signed one of the largest-ever Direct Air Capture (DAC) carbon removal agreements in September with DAC technology company Heirloom, and has recently announced DAC-based agreements with climate tech company CarbonCapture and with startup Climeworks, an agreement for ocean-based carbon dioxide removal with ocean health company Running Tide, an agreement for the purchase of 2.76 million tonnes of carbon removal with Danish energy provider Ørsted to capture and store biogenic carbon from a wood chip-fired power station in Denmark, and a recent agreement with carbon credit streaming company Carbon Streaming for up to 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide removal credits per year from its U.S.-based biochar project.
Brian Marrs, Senior Director of Energy and Carbon Removal at Microsoft, said:
“As Microsoft continues our work to become carbon negative by 2030, it is important that we invest in scalable, high-quality projects like this, with Mombak, that come with significant social and environmental co-benefits.”
Earlier this week at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, Microsoft announced that it has already met a commitment, announced as part of its First Movers Coalition entry in 2022, to contract for at least $200 million of durable and scalable net carbon dioxide removal (CDR) to be achieved by the end of 2030.
In a social media post announcing the new agreement, Melanie Nakagawa, Chief Sustainability Officer at Microsoft, said:
“Nature-based solutions will continue to play a role in a balanced carbon removal portfolio. We’re excited to be working with MOMBAK on our largest nature-based project to date in the Brazilian Amazon!”