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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Treefera's AI: A Solution for Carbon Credit Crisis

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Image credits: Laura Lefurgey-Smith / Unsplash

Carbon credits have been in the limelight recently, but not for the right reasons. Big names like Disney, Shell, and Gucci found themselves in a pickle when they discovered the carbon credits they'd purchased were essentially worthless. The issuer, Verra, had allegedly sold credits for forests not at risk of destruction, rendering the credits valueless. The aftermath? A resigned CEO and a rewritten verification methodology.

This wasn't the first scandal in the carbon credits market, and it's unlikely to be the last. The process of characterising a forest is labour-intensive and time-consuming. The cost of such detailed analysis could inflate the price of associated carbon credits beyond market tolerance.

Enter Treefera, a company founded by Jonathan Horn, aiming to solve these issues. The goal? To provide transparent datasets to both buyers and sellers in the market. Treefera is developing an AI-enabled data platform for companies wanting detailed information about specific forests and their associated carbon credits.

The data is primarily sourced from high-resolution satellite imagery and drone-based lidar, providing insights into tree size and health. The company plans to use AI to expand and scale its forest data, filling in spatial and temporal gaps.

Treefera recently announced a $2.2 million pre-seed funding round led by Concept Ventures, with participation from Twin Path Ventures, January Ventures, and Intel’s CTO, Greg Lavender. The company plans to focus initially on the U.S. and Canada.

The voluntary carbon market is a bit of a wild west. Despite efforts to set more rigorous standards, grey areas remain. Treefera hopes that by improving visibility into forest metrics, transparency will give carbon credit buyers the leverage they need to validate claims and push for more stringent standards.

The next few years will be crucial for Treefera and the broader voluntary carbon market. If Treefera can provide scientifically rigorous data, it could be the answer many companies are looking for in the carbon credit market.

So, here's to hoping that Treefera's AI solution can bring some much-needed clarity and trust to the carbon credits market. After all, we all want to do our bit for the environment, but it's essential to know our efforts are genuinely making a difference.

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