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A new climate tech start-up Koobi Carbon, founded by IBED scientist Dr James Allan, is fighting climate change and species extinctions by offsetting carbon footprints in a way that conserves biodiversity and threatened wildlife. During his research period in the BioMAC group of dr. Daniel Kissling, Allan mapped global priority areas for biodiversity conservation using cutting edge spatial analyses: data that is now being applied for Koobi projects.

Picture: Peadar Breheny

The impacts of climate change become clearer each year; the USA, Turkey and Spain fight wildfires, Germany, Belgium and China are suffering from floods, and many parts of South America experience drought. The new IPCC report, presented on Monday shows the worrying changes of our planet’s climate. But the IPCC committee also mentions that reducing the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will make a great difference in further climate change. 

Dr James Allan, co-founder of Koobi Carbon says ‘Climate action starts with cleaning up after ourselves and offsetting our carbon footprints. But our new company is challenging the carbon industry to think differently and improve its transparency and ethical standards.’ Many people think about planting trees or installing sustainable energy facilities to compensate for our carbon footprint. But the international research team, including Dr James Allan who worked as conservation ecologist at the University of Amsterdam, found over 2,200 renewable energy facilities operating inside important biodiversity areas and potentially damaging them

‘The challenge is to create more transparency about carbon offsetting projects and to improve wildlife habitats with these projects’, says Allan. Koobi Carbon offsets carbon dioxide in an innovative way. Their main service is a subscription, where for the price of a cup of coffee per week an individual can offset their carbon footprint with wildlife friendly carbon credits. These carbon credits are created by conserving habitat for elephants in Kenya, lions in Zambia, and chimpanzees in Tanzania, and their portfolio is expanding rapidly. All these projects are located in ‘global priority areas for biodiversity conservation’ which Dr Allan mapped when he was doing his research for the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics. Koobi also offers services for businesses, including carbon footprint calculatons and offsetting. 

Further reading:
The minimum land area requiring conservation attention to safeguard biodiversity
April 2021
James R. Allan, Hugh P. Possingham, Scott C. Atkinson, Anthony Waldron, Moreno Di Marco, Vanessa M. Adams, Stuart H. M. Butchart, W. Daniel Kissling, Thomas Worsdell, Gwili Gibbon, Kundan Kumar, Piyush Mehta, Martine Maron, Brooke A. Williams, Kendall R. Jones, Brendan A. Wintle, April E. Reside, James E.M. Watson

BioMAC group of dr. Daniel Kissling (IBED)