June 17, 2024 Climate Artificial Intelligence

Reflections on Three Years of Supporting Carbon Removal

Tracy Johns, Patrick Nease, Sarah Sasaki Tsien

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As part of our strategy to reach net zero emissions across our value chain in 2030, Meta supports carbon removal projects to address any residual emissions we cannot eliminate by 2030. To date, we have publicly announced agreements to purchase 6.8 million tons of carbon removal credits to be delivered in 2030 and beyond, and are actively pursuing additional agreements in support of our goal.

Over the last several years, we have built a carbon removal program that seeks to expand the voluntary carbon market toward projects that offer environmental and social benefits beyond carbon sequestration alone, as well as to drive innovation in new carbon removal technologies such as direct air capture (DAC) and using artificial intelligence (AI) for forest mapping.

Pursue a blended portfolio to diversify bets and build the market

We believe that supporting a diverse portfolio of technological and nature-based carbon removal projects is essential to maximize near-term climate impact and local social and environmental benefits while supporting necessary carbon removal solutions for the future. Each project type offers different pathways to impact at scale, on both immediate and longer-term timelines. Advance market commitments and collective buying also play an important role to accelerate the development of the industry by guaranteeing future demand for suppliers.

Technological carbon removal approaches such as DAC offer a high global climate mitigation potential. They are compelling for their potential for straightforward monitoring, reporting, and verification, flexibility in where they are built, their small physical footprint, pathway to significantly reduced costs, and potential scalability to gigaton-levels of carbon capture. These approaches require early adoption from companies like Meta to help scale up deployment and bring costs down. We will continue to identify and support the most promising technologies to accelerate development of additional tools to help the world reach a zero carbon future. As a founding member of Frontier, Meta signed several agreements with companies working on DAC as well as other approaches like biomass carbon removal and storage. 

Through agreements with CarbonCapture and Heirloom, Meta has committed to purchase carbon removal credits from two leading companies implementing DAC carbon removal projects. When paired with geologic storage, DAC offers a potentially readily scalable and promising carbon removal pathway. Through our agreement with Charm Industrial, Meta will purchase carbon removal credits that sequester carbon by storing pyrolyzed waste biomass into geologic formations deep underground.

Nature-based carbon removal via forests or soils is deployable now and can offer solutions to both mitigate climate change and address the biodiversity crisis. We prioritize ecological restoration as well as projects that directly benefit people’s lives and livelihoods, such as by increasing food security or providing additional sources of income. These types of projects are especially important for communities most affected by the impacts of climate change. Through 1t.org, the National Indian Carbon Coalition and Meta have pledged to promote a model for carbon removal projects that centers on the leadership, traditional ecological knowledge, and vision of Indigenous Peoples for themselves and the land they take care of. Through this partnership, we pledge to develop no fewer than three carbon removal credit generating projects that protect and restore forest lands through Indigenous/tribal and community leadership.

We help scale the market through forward contracts, such as our agreement with Catona Climate to secure nature-based carbon removal credits from a range of projects to be delivered from 2027 through 2035. Most recently, our announcement of the Symbiosis Coalition alongside Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce aims to catalyze nature-based solutions at the rate necessary for climate change mitigation. 

We can already see the positive impacts of our partnerships: meaningful government engagement and support in the U.S., Europe, and beyond, additional scientific focus on understanding and communicating the risks and scalability of new technologies, and the potential for price benefits for early buyers whose contracts unlock vital financing for deployment.

Support the market with tech-driven contributions 

Meta has the unique opportunity to help the carbon market grow and overcome barriers to scale. One area that we have identified as an area of need with our partners at World Resources Institute (WRI) is remote sensing to ultimately aid in the monitoring and verification of forest carbon.

To help meet this need, Meta and WRI launched a map of global tree canopy height at a 1-meter resolution, allowing the detection of individual trees. In an effort to advance open source forest monitoring, all canopy height data and AI models are free and publicly available. Meta’s approach to open-sourcing its AI tools has enabled this. 

To manage forests at the scale required to mitigate climate change, it is critical to improve the monitoring and the verification of forest-based carbon credits worldwide, particularly by improving the spatial resolution of forest structure data. Improving remotely sensed data with AI can both help mitigate the gap between reported and measured land use emissions, and enable monitoring across international, national, local, and corporate scales of conservation and restoration projects. 

Georgia Tech and Meta also “collaborated to produce a massive database, potentially making it easier and faster to design and implement DAC technologies. The open source database enabled the team to train an AI model that is orders of magnitude faster than existing chemistry simulations.” This project, OpenDAC, has the potential to dramatically accelerate climate solutions.

Participate in standards bodies to drive scale and transparency

We believe it is important to work across the industry to secure a sufficient supply of high-quality credits and to develop standards for the benefit of the entire ecosystem. 

We are working closely with fellow members of the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions (BASCS) to support equity, transparency and quality in carbon market standards. Through focused work with technical experts, project developers, and standards bodies, BASCS provides a viewpoint and input from the perspective of ambitious net zero-committed companies to the advancement of project methodologies, standards, and expectations for social and environmental impacts of projects on the ground.


With 2030 on the horizon, there is much more to do. We are excited to continue our work supporting the development of the carbon removal market by contributing to the natural and technological projects mentioned above, as well as additional projects we are exploring to help us achieve our sustainability goals. For more on Meta’s Net Zero program, read Our Path to Net Zero.

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