Many businesses are stepping up their commitments to positive climate action, pledging to reduce their emissions and mitigate harm but far less are taking it as far as Stripe who are creating a market for carbon removal by pooling demand.
We caught up with Stripe's Head of Climate, Nan Ransohoff, and not just because we're big fans of Speed & Scale but also because Stripe is one of Climate Salad's partners in helping us to deliver our mission to help Climate Tech companies grow and scale.
Why is investing in Climate Tech important to you?
To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we need to keep global temperature increases within 1.5C of pre-industrial levels. Most climate models agree: alongside radical emissions reductions, there is now no pathway to achieving that without permanently removing gigatons of CO2 already in the atmosphere and ocean. Our users want to act on climate in meaningful ways, but for many, there isn’t a clear path to get started. We heard from users of all sizes about the challenges they’ve encountered in trying to design high-impact climate programs. They don’t have the time or expertise to identify impactful ways to spend climate funds. To help solve this, we developed Stripe Climate.
Stripe Climate allows Stripe businesses to allocate a fraction of every transaction to fund carbon removal technologies – without a line of code. Stripe uses 100% of these contributions to purchase permanent carbon removal from companies building promising new solutions.
And why is it important for Stripe to support and recognise the Climate Tech Showcase, supporting Climate Tech founders?
When we made our first carbon removal purchases, we hoped by prioritizing funding carbon removal technologies early, we could accelerate their development and help to catalyze a new market. The carbon removal industry is still small and underinvested relative to the size of the problem. For carbon removal to scale, we need more funding to support existing projects and more companies to take up the challenge. Climate Tech Showcase is giving carbon removal entrepreneurs the visibility they need.
What are some of the opportunities you see coming out of Climate Tech?
Permanent carbon removal is only *barely* starting to exist. For carbon removal to get to the required scale, we need a portfolio of approaches and we need them to scale quickly. In practice, this means we need to get a critical mass of promising approaches (and companies!) to the starting line ASAP, and then work to help them scale as fast as possible. Speaking directly to founders: you have as good a chance as anyone else at building a carbon removal technology that becomes a major piece of the global solution to slow climate change. So, build!
Stripe isn’t just a fintech company that has a sustainability strategy, Stripe has ambitions to be a key player in the climate tech industry - can you tell us more about Stripe’s ambitions, plans and actions so far?
Today, Stripe Climate is the world's largest coalition of carbon removal buyers: tens of thousands of companies from forty different countries have committed $15M to carbon removal since we started in 2020.
This is promising but still just a drop in the bucket. To date, fewer than 10,000 tons of carbon have been removed, a million times short of the scale we need. We’re currently exploring ideas to get the development of the carbon removal market to gigaton-scale by 2050.
What excites you most about Climate Tech in Australia and New Zealand?
Australia and New Zealand are world renowned for their natural beauty and biodiversity and, as a result, I think Antipodean people take great pride in doing their part to protect the world from the impact of climate change. We’re seeing this come through the likes of the Peter Cook Centre for CCS who are driving innovative, industry leading research on the academic front for example.
We’ve seen interest and commitment from hundreds of users in Australia and New Zealand including PayThen, Stillwhite, Vital Beat Yoga and Squadrun that contribute to carbon removal through Stripe Climate. In fact, Australia has been one of the fastest adopters of the product, making up 40% of the APAC Stripe Climate users.
We look forward to more companies from Australia and New Zealand joining Stripe and the network of businesses making carbon removal purchases a core part of their climate programs.
To find out more about Climate Tech and the exciting solutions being created, join us for the Melbourne Climate Tech Showcase on April 6.