Ostrom Climate Provides Corporate Updates, Focuses On Carbon Projects Development

Ostrom Climate Provides Corporate Updates, Focuses On Carbon Projects Development - Carbon Herald

Ostrom Climate Solutions Inc., a leading carbon project developer and climate solutions company, unveiled the evolution of its business strategy to focus on carbon project development as it believes that carbon markets are poised to grow exponentially to $1.1 trillion by 2050, according to research by BloombergNEF.

The Company expects to leverage its extensive expertise in carbon finance to develop high-quality carbon projects to generate more long-term recurring revenues from carbon credits, and enhance its returns on invested capital.

By transitioning from a project development and carbon management consultancy to a lead equity partner in carbon projects, Ostrom Climate intends to have greater influence over project quality, and align execution with high standards of financial and environmental performance. In management’s view, this strategic shift will capitalize on Ostrom Climate’s experience and brand to increase the environmental impact of its projects and drive shareholder value.

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The Company has identified Nature Based Solutions (NBS) as a core area of focus. NBS in carbon project development are strategies that use natural processes and ecosystems to capture and store carbon, thereby reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and supporting biodiversity. This strategic focus is commenced by the introduction of an innovative Climate-Smart agriculture project to reduce methane emissions in the rice supply chain in partnership with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) of the Philippines.

Ostrom Climate’s Strategic Carbon Project Initiatives:

Ostrom Climate is committed to driving global climate action through the development and management of innovative and high-quality carbon projects, with a focus on NBS. The Company’s mission centers on implementing robust solutions that substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions while fostering sustainable development. Ostrom Climate’s strategic areas of focus include:

  • Rice Cultivation: Implementing Climate-Smart Agriculture practices such as Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) to reduce methane emissions and improve water efficiency.
  • Improved Forest Management (IFM): Enhancing carbon sequestration through sustainable forest management practices.
  • Avoided Planned Deforestation: Preventing deforestation activities that are legally planned but not yet executed, preserving carbon stocks and forest ecosystems.
  • Blue Carbon: Developing projects that conserve and restore coastal and marine ecosystems like mangroves and seagrasses, which are critical for carbon sequestration and biodiversity.
  • Biochar: Utilizing organic materials transformed into biochar to enrich soil health and store carbon long-term.
  • Bio-Fuels: Promoting the use of bio-derived fuels to reduce emissions from fossil fuels and advance renewable energy solutions.

Furthermore, the Company aims to develop its leadership under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which facilitates international cooperation for carbon emissions reduction. By focusing on projects that are high-quality and scalable, the Company intends to develop intellectual property that can be redeployed across different jurisdictions, ensuring that its climate initiatives lead to global environmental benefits and sustainable community development. Through these focused efforts, the Company is dedicated to making a significant and positive impact on global climate change mitigation, aligning ecological sustainability with strategic economic growth.

Market Opportunity for Developing High-Quality Carbon Projects:

The Company is strategically targeting revenue growth through its focused approach in the carbon project sector. By leveraging its expertise in high-impact carbon projects such as forestOstromn, blue carbon, and Climate-Smart Agriculture, the Company aims to enhance its market share and financial returns.

The Company is focused on high-quality carbon project development because it believes high-quality carbon credits are demanded by the largest final emitter buyers of carbon and therefore should yield strong and stable pricing. Furthermore, developing projects provides ownership of long-term recurring carbon credit revenue.

Recent estimates by BloombergNEF forecast that the demand for high-quality carbon offsets is expected to grow significantly, from 164 million tons of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) today to approximately 1.37 billion tCO2e by 2030, with a peak demand of nearly 5.9 billion tCO2e by 2050. This growth trajectory suggests an initial oversupply, stabilizing as net-zero targets progress, with demand expected to exceed supply by 2046.

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Consequently, carbon offset prices, currently around $13 per tCO2e, are projected to climb, reaching $20 per tCO2e in 2030 and peaking at $243 per tCO2e in 2046. BloombergNEF further projects that the annual value of the high-quality voluntary carbon market could surge to $1.1 trillion by 2050, a stark increase from the current estimates of $2 billion. This structural pricing shift underscores the strategic repositioning of Ostrom Climate to have direct involvement in carbon development to leverage these anticipated market dynamics.

“We believe the voluntary carbon market is poised for unprecedented growth, propelled by strategic tailwinds from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) endorsement of carbon credits for offsetting corporate Scope 3 emissions and the operationalization of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. These developments create an optimal environment for the Company to shift our strategy towards carbon project development. This is the right time for us to leverage these opportunities, ensuring we stay at the forefront of climate action,” stated Phil Cull, CEO of Ostrom Climate.

The Company has established long-term relationships with some of the world’s largest carbon emitters across sectors such as airlines, hydrocarbons, and chemical manufacturing, which face well-publicized needs to mitigate their emissions. Leveraging its expertise in carbon financing, Ostrom Climate is ideally positioned to develop structured financing solutions, including Emission Reduction Purchase Agreements (ERPAs) with upfront payment components. These financial instruments and others are designed to optimize capital structure, and fund project development, enabling these major industries to achieve their emission reduction targets effectively.

Launch of Climate-Smart Agriculture Rice Project in the Philippines:

Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) is a Climate-Smart Agriculture technique that impacts efforts to mitigate climate change within the rice cultivation sector, a notable source of global methane emissions. AWD modifies traditional irrigation practices by intermittently drying rice fields instead of maintaining continuous flooding. This shift reduces the anaerobic decomposition that typically occurs in flooded soils, cutting methane emissions by up to 48% per hectare.

The adoption of AWD worldwide could substantially decrease the agriculture sector’s contribution to global methane emissions, estimated to constitute 10-12% of the total. This method not only aligns with sustainable water management practices but also supports global climate goals by integrating agricultural productivity with effective greenhouse gas mitigation, marking a critical advancement in Climate-Smart Agriculture.

Methane reduction is a crucial aspect of Climate-Smart Agriculture due to its potent greenhouse gas properties, significantly impacting global warming. According to Stanford University’s Doerr School of Sustainability, methane is over 80 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Therefore, strategies like AWD in rice cultivation, which reduce methane emissions, are vital. AWD has been successfully implemented in various parts of the world, including Southeast Asia and South America, demonstrating material preservation of water resources and significant methane reduction in rice paddies without adversely affecting yields.

The reduction of methane through AWD represents the avoidance of carbon emissions, which should command a premium in the carbon credits market. Recognizing this, Ostrom Climate is actively collaborating with Verra, a leading carbon registry, to develop a new carbon methodology that accurately quantifies and credits these reductions. This initiative underscores the Company’s leadership in carbon markets, and commitment to fostering innovative, high-impact environmental solutions that provide tangible benefits in terms of climate change mitigation and economic value.

In collaboration with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), a government-owned and controlled corporation primarily responsible for irrigation development and management in the Philippines, the Company has launched the Upper Pampanga River Climate-Smart Agriculture Rice Project (UPRIIS). UPRIIS is set to transform rice cultivation across approximately 100,000 hectares in Central Luzon, Philippines, known as the “rice granary” of the country.

Rice is a staple food in the Philippines, crucial for national food security as it forms the main diet for the majority of the population. The implementation of AWD practices and related technology aligns with the country’s goals to enhance rice production efficiency while ensuring sustainability through reduced water usage and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This approach supports the broader objective of achieving resilience and food security in the face of climate change.

“The implementation of AWD technology in the Philippines is expected to achieve water savings of 20-30% within the defined boundaries of UPRIIS. This is crucial for a country that is a net importer of rice, a staple for its population of over 115 million. By reducing water use and enhancing rice production efficiency, we’re not just advancing our climate objectives; we’re also securing a vital food source for the nation. We are hopeful that this project will serve as a model for rollout across more regions in the country,” said Mr. Cull.

MOU Signed with the Philippines National Irrigation Administration:

In October 2023, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed at the NIA Central Office in Manila, attended by key figures, including NIA Acting Administrator Engr. Eddie G. Guillen, Senior Deputy Administrator Engr. Robert C. Suguitan, along with Ostrom Climate’s CEO Phill Cull, and International Land Use Director Jane Boles. This MOU marked the commencement of UPRIIS, which aims to sustain rice security and resilience through the adoption of AWD Technology.

“We are thrilled about the launch of the UPRIIS. This initiative not only signifies a major advancement in our international efforts but also perfectly aligns with our mission to implement sustainable and impactful climate solutions. The project’s scope and potential to support rice productivity while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions make this a transformative step for both Ostrom Climate and the communities we serve,” expressed Jane Boles, International Land Use Director at Ostrom Climate.

Per the MOU, the project will focus on increasing water productivity and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in rice cultivation across UPRIIS. As project developer, Ostrom Climate will fund the project implementation, ensuring no financial burden falls on the NIA, and will also manage all related financial processes in compliance with government regulations. This initiative is a strategic component of NIA Administrator Guillen’s 7-Point Strategic Policy Agenda, aiming to transform the Philippines into a climate-smart and resilient nation.

UPRIIS not only aims to reduce environmental impact but also to implement transparent benefit-sharing mechanisms. Partners such as Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), NIA, and local irrigation authorities will directly benefit from the proceeds of the sales of carbon credits, which are expected to comply with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. This structured approach ensures that the economic benefits are equitably shared amongst all stakeholders involved, enhancing local support and sustainability of the project initiatives.

The Company’s presence in the Philippines positions it ideally to assist various government agencies in shaping both domestic and international climate policies. This collaboration focuses on developing and establishing domestic and international markets for Philippines-originated carbon credits, which are currently in the early stages of development, enhancing the country’s role in the global carbon market.

Early Signs of Execution in Philippines Climate Smart Agriculture:

Ostrom Climate directly engages with local stakeholders and leading educational initiatives on the ground. This active involvement ensures effective implementation of projects and builds local capacity. Furthermore, Ostrom Climate is establishing the Philippines as a center of excellence within the organization, currently employing over 25 individuals in the country, further underlining its commitment to regional development and stakeholder engagement.

The UPRIIS project has achieved a significant milestone with over 10,000 farmers signing up for the piloting phase. These farmers have been successfully onboarded through equitable incentivization programs, ensuring broad participation and support for the initiative. This strong start not only demonstrates the community’s commitment to sustainable agricultural practices but also sets a solid foundation for the project’s future phases. Transparency and equitable benefit sharing are foundational pillars of the UPRIIS project, ensuring that all stakeholders, particularly the local farming communities, are fully engaged and fairly compensated for their participation.

UPRIIS has attracted attention from the Canadian government, supported by the Trade Commission and the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines. The World Bank also recently announced its intention to step up its efforts in tackling methane emissions from rice production, through informing on policy making and unlocking financing. This recognition underscores the project’s global significance and potential impact on sustainable agriculture practices. Ostrom Climate plans to leverage this support to enhance its leadership in AWD technologies and establish a specialized niche within the region, furthering its commitment to innovative, Climate-Smart Agriculture solutions.

Strategic Transformation and Executive Leadership Appointments:

This transformation is guided by the appointments of Navdeep Dhaliwal as Executive Chairman and Tejinder Virk as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). Mr. Dhaliwal, an accomplished entrepreneur and financier, brings a wealth of experience from his role as Founder & CEO of NLX Capital, where he has demonstrated exceptional leadership in global merchant banking, climate finance, and venture capital. Mr. Virk, co-founder and Managing Partner at NLX Capital, complements this leadership with his extensive background in capital markets and investment banking, notably with BMO Capital Markets in London.

Mr. Cull states, “The appointments of Navdeep and Tejinder are critical as we intensify our efforts in carbon project development globally. Their leadership will be pivotal in our strategic expansion into Climate-Smart Agriculture and other innovative carbon management solutions.”

The Company also announces that the Company’s Board has granted an aggregate of 2,000,000 incentive stock options to officers and directors at a per share price of $0.10 for a period of five years from the date of grant. The stock options are subject to vesting provisions as set by the Company’s Board.

Integrated Business Divisions Driving the Carbon Project Developer Strategy:

Ostrom Climate is enhancing its strategic focus on carbon project development, supported by its business divisions, to leverage its technical expertise and market position effectively. The Company will operate through four focused divisions, each integral to the Company’s each integral to the Company’s overarching strategy to develop and manage high-quality carbon projects.

Domestic Land Use (DLU): Focuses on forestry and land-based carbon projects within Canada, emphasizing collaborations with indigenous communities and local stakeholders to develop sustainable projects that also support conservation. DLU’s flagship project, the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project, encompasses over 6.4 million hectares of coastal temperate rainforest in British Columbia. To date, this project has successfully generated approximately 30 million tonnes of carbon credits, making a substantial contribution to global carbon sequestration efforts and biodiversity conservation.

International Land Use (ILU): Handles global projects aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), improving forest management, and advancing Climate-Smart Agriculture, particularly in developing countries. ILU plays a pivotal role in managing and executing carbon projects outside of Canada. This division has successfully implemented projects across diverse geographical and ecological zones, including in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

The ILU team specializes in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), improved forest management, and Climate-Smart Agriculture initiatives. Their efforts focus on generating verified carbon credits while simultaneously enhancing biodiversity and supporting local communities in sustainable development practices.

Carbon Management and Innovation (CMI): This newly emphasized division is geared towards innovating and securing equity stakes in carbon projects, developing new methodologies that can be scaled internationally to enhance the Company’s project portfolio. CMI rigorously assesses emerging technologies to ensure they align with current environmental standards and can effectively contribute to carbon reduction goals. This process involves detailed life cycle analyses and environmental product declarations, helping the Company stay at the forefront of innovation in climate solutions. Through this meticulous evaluation, CMI identifies technologies that have the potential to revolutionize practices and drive significant environmental impact.

Client Engagement and Direct Carbon Sales: Manages relationships with corporate and governmental clients, ensuring their sustainability goals are achieved through customized carbon offset solutions, thereby driving further project development. The Client Engagement division has successfully secured a leading market share by cultivating strong relationships with an array of corporate clients, ranging from small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies.

This division aims to excel in understanding and addressing the unique sustainability goals of each client, thereby ensuring tailored solutions that integrate seamlessly with their environmental strategies. Management believes that this approach will not only enhance client satisfaction but also reinforces the Company’s position as a market leader in carbon management and climate solutions.

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