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A new chapter for Abatable

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Published: 22 May 2024

Last Updated: 23 May 2024


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Abatable

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It’s been three years since my co-founder Maria and I formed Abatable, coming together with a goal to help companies scale their investment in credible and tangible climate action.

At the time we – perhaps naively – thought we would simply be building a company to help organisations facilitate meaningful climate action through the purchase of high-quality carbon credits, and that alone felt like no small feat. We didn’t envisage then that the next three years would see us play such an active role in helping to reshape the market around us.

As Abatable grew and evolved, we began increasingly working with others to create a better voluntary carbon market (VCM). Bolstered by meaningful partnerships, we created unique risk and quality frameworks to help companies navigate the space, produced and shared our market insights and developed the tools to create an ecosystem of carbon market-enabled companies.

Over the last three years, we have gone from two people formulating strategies in my living room to thirty people, and counting (we’re hiring!), playing an active role in building the next generation of the VCM.

I’m proud of our nimbleness and adaptability to grow in sync with the market’s needs. We’ve responded to provide the transparency, standardisation and scale that the market desperately needs to grow.

It’s an incredible privilege to now work with some of the world’s largest brands alongside the world’s most impactful carbon project developers. Through our acquisition of Ecosphere+, a renowned provider of high-quality nature-based carbon credits, we’ve solidified our position as a key player, solutions provider and partner to many organisations on both the supply and demand sides of the market. 

I’m also beyond proud of our track record and the impact we’ve had. As a business we’ve avoided or reduced over 45 million tonnes of carbon, conserved or restored 1.8 million hectares of land, helped protect 200 threatened species and supported over 2,400 jobs. We’ve helped 200 clients, built up a network of 8,500 carbon projects and developed the tools to allow buyers to easily tap into it.

This is not trivial, especially for an organisation that is only three years old.

A need to step things up

While we’ve been busy creating the tools to channel more capital into essential climate solutions, unfortunately, the challenge we all face has gradually become more difficult to solve. 

The year 2020 marked the beginning of the so-called ‘decade of action’ on climate change. To set ourselves up for a meaningful chance of reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century, the UN cautioned that emissions in 2030 need to be 45% lower than their projected level under current climate pledges. 

This emissions gap – between where current policies will take us and where we need to be – represents the opportunity available to the private sector to step in and take action.

In 2021, the year we founded Abatable, hopes of global emissions levels plateauing as countries pledged to build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic were dashed as economies geared back up, and shuttered fossil fuel plants came back online. Emissions bounced back past pre-pandemic levels to reach 41.1 gigatonnes of CO2 for the year.

Emissions have been of the same magnitude for the last two years, with energy-related emissions reaching record levels in both 2022 and 2023.

As we approach the halfway point in the decade of action, we’ve used up 120 gigatonnes of our 400 gigatonne carbon budget for 1.5C and, so far, the action we need on the scale we need eludes us.

In addition to the climate crisis, biodiversity loss continues to accelerate, with one million species today under threat of extinction. Inequality continues to rise, and the effects of climate change are expected to disproportionally affect the poorest in our societies. 

Our mission has never been more critical.

A north star for the VCM

The private sector has a critical role to play to plug the emissions gap to get where we need to be. Now is the time for it to harness the VCM to its full potential.

Over the last three years, the voluntary carbon market has built the solutions, tools and guidelines to facilitate credible and transformative climate action. It’s worked hard to increase transparency, accountability and integrity. In my professional career, I’ve never witnessed such a dramatic rebuilding of an entire industry in such a short space of time. We are now in a place to push forward and deliver.

We desperately need planetary-scale adoption of the VCM.

The new Abatable represents an alignment of our mission – the coming together of our focus to empower those organisations so vital to this transition.

It also acknowledges the maturity we’ve reached as an organisation, allowing us to take stock of what we’ve been doing and how far we’ve come. To take time to reflect and reshape our external image to mirror the impact and type of work that we’ve undertaken for our clients and partners. To align around our values of raising the bar for the planet and sharing success both internally and externally.

The new Abatable is a north star, to guide us in the next phase of growth as a people-centric, impact-driven technology company. We will shine a light to enable companies to navigate this complex market, and we will continue to help shape the market around us for the benefit of the Earth.

The new Abatable is a commitment to lead the generational change that’s required to build a thriving future for climate, nature and people.


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