Serial entrepreneur Diego Saez-Gil is the founder of Pachama, the first carbon offset platform to use machine learning and remote sensing technologies to monitor carbon captured by forests around the world. Companies can use the marketplace to support verified carbon offset projects, particularly those focused on reforestation.
The company has raised millions of dollars to support its marketplace, including backing from Ryan Graves and Chris Sacca, who are connected to Uber.
The idea emerged while spending time in South America. Gil saw the effects of deforestation first hand, in what was clearly an immensely damaging proposition for the planet.
“We believe that protecting and restoring the forests represents the most effective solution to recapture carbon from the atmosphere and reverse climate change,” the startup explains on its website. “We believe that carbon offsetting is a powerful way to drive funds to the right projects.”
Pachama analyses satellite images of forests to provide accurate estimations of carbon storage and capture to verify its projects. Remote sensing tools and dashboard increase visibility and transparency for users.
He calculates that there are about one billion hectares on the planet that could be reforested.
The company currently has 23 forest projects across the Western hemisphere, including three in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Peru.
“Currently only two per cent of funding for climate change solutions goes to forest restoration,” Gil said in a statement, as quoted by My Social Good News. “Meanwhile reforestation has the potential to drawdown two thirds of the extra CO₂ in the atmosphere, being one of the most meaningful solutions to climate change.
“Pachama was created to accelerate reforestation as a solution to climate change through carbon markets. By providing businesses with an easy and trust-worthy way to purchase data-verified forest carbon credits, we’re directing much-needed funds to reforestation projects globally.”
Writing feature pieces online, Gil stresses that while he backs unleashing the forest carbon market, planting trees shouldn’t be a reason to not reduce emissions and move away from fossil fuels.
Speaking on the Below the Line Podcast, Diego said: “I remember being depressed for two weeks after reading about sea living rising, and fires in the forest. And then I went to do my masters in Barcelona, and in the US started my first company. In the back of my mind was always climate change, and the way we were treating our planet.
“I only had the opportunity to revisit the topic deeply after my last company got acquired,” he said, which was when Pachama was born. “All of a sudden I had time to do research and went back to reading about climate change.”Tags: AI, deforestation, machine learning, USA