Microsoft backs Panama Reforestation Project With Rubicon Carbon & Carbon Steaming

Microsoft has revealed a $1.6 million agreement to buy carbon removal credits from what developers have described as one of Central America’s largest fully funded nature-based carbon removal projects.

The project in the Azuero region of Panama spans 10,000 hectares and is partially financed by Microsoft, a leading purchaser of corporate credits. Microsoft aims to offset 3.2 million tons of carbon by planting over 6 million trees in Panama’s Azuero where much of the land has been degraded by cattle ranching.

In recent years, with AI and clouds, Tech giants worldwide are investing significantly in initiatives that either store away, or prevent carbon emissions to meet sustainability targets. This specific project, as highlighted by developer Ponterra, stands out for its focus on reforestation by planting 6 million trees to restore lands previously degraded by cattle ranching, rather than merely safeguarding existing forests from deforestation.

Microsoft’s carbon emissions have surged by 30% since 2020, mainly due to data center construction, as stated in its 2024 sustainability report. Although the company aims to achieve zero carbon emissions and waste by 2030, it will need to procure carbon credits to fulfill this commitment, buying 5.015 million metric tons of carbon removals in 2023 to support this goal.

The project is a collaboration involving Ponterra, Rubicon Carbon, Carbon Streaming, and Microsoft, who provided the funding. However, the financial details of the deal, such as its size and Microsoft’s payment per ton, were not disclosed by the backers.

Source: Returns