France’s AXA Investment Managers has committed to invest $49 million in Brazil’s Mombak Gestora de Recursos to support its efforts to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air by reforesting the Amazon, and has taken a minority stake in the carbon removal start-up, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Besides curbing emissions, removing carbon from the atmosphere is crucial if we are to reach our climate protection goals, Peter Fernandez, Mombak’s CEO, was quoted as saying Tuesday, adding that “the largest opportunity to do carbon removal is in Brazil”.
Mombak, which generates carbon credits through reforestation with native species, has already signed a contract to sell the credits from the project to an unnamed major global technology corporation, Fernandez said.
The investment in the Brazilian start-up is made through AXA IM Alts, the French firm’s alternative investment unit, which launched its Natural Capital strategy in September last year with the aim of investing in nature-based solutions to climate change.
“We were drawn to Mombak because they share our focus on operational and scientific excellence,” Adam Gibbon, who leads Natural Capital, was quoted as saying in an email.
According to Mombak, more than 10,000 hectares (nearly 25,000 acres) of degraded pastureland will be reforested — an area larger than Lake Superior in central North America — using some 90 different tree species that are all native to the Amazon.
Up to six million carbon credits are expected to be generated, each equal to 1 metric ton of CO2 removed from the air.
In January, the start-up acquired a farm in the municipality of Mae do Rio, in the state of Pará in northern Brazil, where more than 500 trees have already been planted using funds from its initial investors, including U.S.-based Bain Capital Partnership Strategies, Fernandez said.