Climate Finance | May 30, 2024

Mirova, Temasek and Rubicon Carbon seek carbon credits from South African restoration project

Lucy Ngige
Guest Author

Lucy Ngige

Three institutional heavyweights are funding an initiative of Singapore-based Imperative to restore 250,000 acres of degraded land in South Africa’s Eastern and Western Cape provinces. The project will support the planting of spekboom, an indigenous succulent that can restore soil and sequester carbon.

Imperative estimates the project’s sequestration capacity at 30 million tons of CO2-equivalent. The restoration project will also create local jobs in one of South Africa’s poorest and most remote areas.

Imperative is verifying credits generated from the project under Vera’s VM0047 methodology.

Carbon confidence

Voluntary carbon markets have gotten a bad rap from projects that lacked transparency and failed to deliver promised results. But the markets generate crucial funding for restoration projects that restore ecosystems and improve resilience.

The US government this week released new rules for the voluntary markets aimed at boosting confidence and improving project standards.

“Voluntary carbon markets can help unlock the power of private markets to reduce emissions, but that can only happen if we address significant existing challenges,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. She called on buyers to “prioritize reducing their own emissions” before turning to offsets.   

Project financing

Institutions and corporate alliances like Microsoft and the Frontier network have supported high-quality projects to offset emissions in their supply chains and help build the market. TPG-backed Rubicon Carbon teamed up with Microsoft and Carbon Streaming earlier this month to replant a tropical forest in Panama.

Temasek is backing Imperative’s South Africa project through its GenZERO initiative. The project was the first investment of a partnership fund between Imperative and CrossBoundary’s Fund for Nature to usher early stage financing to nature-based carbon projects in emerging markets.