Nonprofit Spotlight: Carbon180

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In January, PennyLoafer donors collectively gave to to Carbon 180!

The Rundown

  • Years founded: 2015

  • Leadership: Co-founder, Giana Amador, is dedicated to combining social justice and climate action, making the Forbes 30 under 30 list for social impact in 2022. Other Co-founder, Noah Deich, has extensive experience in the climate space, and currently serves on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board under the Biden Administration.

  • Issue they address: Carbon emissions.

  • What they do: Champion carbon removal solutions using science + innovation.

  • How they do it:

    • Develop, advocate for and provide technical expertise for innovative federal policies to scale carbon removal solutions.

    • Conduct research and analysis to inform policies + engage businesses.

    • Partner with farmers and ranchers, working on the ground, to accelerate agricultural practices that store carbon and improve soil health.

    • Help grow carbon removal startups + new technologies with their entrepreneur in residence fellowship program

Why they were chosen

Carbon180 is a leading environmental organization, and the only one focused solely on carbon removal. Over the past 6 years, their small but dedicated team has shifted carbon removal into the mainstream by testifying before congress, successfully advocating for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for carbon removal, and fostering entrepreneurs and innovation in the space.


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What is carbon removal?

🌎 Along with drastically cutting carbon emissions, removing carbon from our atmosphere is necessary to meet our ambitious climate goals (read: it’s a compliment to reducing carbon emissions – not a substitute).

Carbon removal covers a broad range of approaches:

🌲 From more natural solutions, like forest restoration (planting more trees which naturally capture CO2), protecting whale populations (great whales, on average, sequester 33 tons of CO2 over their life time) and changing agricultural practices to capture more carbon in the soil, which nourishes plants and crops.

🏭 To more technological solutions, such as Direct Air Capture (which pulls CO2 directly form the atmosphere, then stores it deep underground or converts it into commercial products).

Gaining traction, but still underfunded

📈 Until recently, carbon removal received little attention and federal support. In 2019, less than 2% of global philanthropy went to climate change mitigation. But 2021 was a big year for carbon removal. While it still falls short of the funding and technology advancements that are needed (at scale), we’re headed in the right direction. To name a few wins:

  • The Infrastructure Bill, signed into law by Biden in December, included $12B for carbon removal.
  • U.S. Dept. of Energy announced its Earth Shot initiative to remove and store CO2 at scale and at lower costs.
  • Elon Musk announced a $100M prize (and 4-year challenge) for companies that can build scalable carbon capture technologies.
  • Climeworks opened the worlds largest direct air capture and storage plant in Iceland. Named Orca, it sucks carbon from the air and turns it into rocks to store underground.

If you enjoyed this and want to get involved, you can support the Climate Change cause on PennyLoafer, starting with as little as $5/month. Each month, you’ll support and learn about a different nonprofit fighting the climate crisis.