Renew Capital backs Octavia Carbon for direct air capture in Kenya

ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, January 10 – African leaders and innovators are starting to tap global carbon markets. Nairobi-based Octavia Carbon is a rare direct air capture startup on the continent. Its projects include a partnership with New York’s Cella Mineral Storage to suck carbon out of the air and store it in mineral rock in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley.

Ethiopia-based impact private equity firm Renew Capital invested an undisclosed amount in Octavia “to position Africa as an active contributor to global climate solutions,” said Renew’s Esther Mwikali.

Carbon markets

At last year’s climate summit in Nairobi, international governments and organizations pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to support Africa’s nascent carbon credit ecosystem. It’s been a bumpy road, including a scandal in Zimbabwe that led to the resignation of South Pole’s founder Renat Heuberger.

African business and policy leaders want to ensure African countries get fairly compensated for conservation and biodiversity preservation.

“We should focus on conservation and reforestation – with local actors driving the projects, the financing, the verification and the trading,” said Africa Finance Corp.’s Samaila Zubairu.