You think money grows on trees? Estonian
firm seeks finance from forests
Send a link to a friend
[January 15, 2021]
By Tarmo Virki
TALLINN (Reuters) - Estonian company
Single.Earth has raised millions of dollars to buy forests and wetlands,
it said on Friday, aiming to tap into a rapidly growing carbon-offset
market and public concern over the amount of logging in the country.
Merit Valdsalu, a CEO of an Estonian company Single.Earth, which raises
its first investment to buy forests, looks at her phone at a clearcut
forest, in Haademeeste, Estonia Janurary 14, 2021. REUTERS/Janis Laizans
company is a digital platform for landowners that connects them
with businesses that will pay them to preserve trees to balance
out their own carbon footprints and become "carbon neutral".
It could be fertile ground, given the global carbon-offset
market is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2050, from 600
million in 2019, according to Berenberg forecasts.
"Carbon offset and biodiversity offset are actually markets
functioning today, but they are not accessible to most forest
owners and landowners," Single.Earth Chief Executive Merit
Valdsalu said, adding that the returns from offset projects
could generate 5% annual returns for landowner investors.
The company said that the founders of local software firm
Pipedrive had committed to invest $3.9 million in forests which
will be chosen based on Single.Earth data, and that the platform
would manage the carbon-offset sales of the forest.
It comes at a time of heated public debate over the amount of
logging in the small EU member state, around half of which is
covered by forests. There has been several protests over the
past year over what campaigners say is excessive logging.
(Additional reporting by Janis Laizans; Editing by Pravin Char)
[© 2021 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.