How can we work together to tackle ten global challenges in 10 years?

The Gigatonne Fund

The Gigatonne Fund

signal-2019-09-12-165913.jpg

The goal of the Fund is to practically demonstrate how to reduce global emissions by one billion tonnes (a gigatonne) of CO2e.

This will be done through financially and technically supporting teams of “Green Helmets” (see below) to implement practical responses for reducing greenhouse gases at speed and at scale.


Context

Despite our best efforts global emissions continue to steadily increase with little sign of decline.

As emissions increase, the pathways to a solution get harder and harder.

We need to reduce human-induced emissions by at least 1 gigatonne of CO2e per year until we reach zero.

CO2 emissions graphic.png

The Gigatonne Strategy

Our strategy aims to meet three criteria:

(1) It  must  be  practical,  that is,  we  can  see  ourselves  doing  it  without  a requirement for some  as  yet undiscovered technology;

(2) it  must  be  rigorous,  that  is  the numbers  must  add  up  to a solution  that  averts dangerous  climate  change;  and 

(3) finally it must be affordable, that is, we should be able to raise the capital required to implement in practice. 

The Gigatonne End State

We will achieve the goal of reducing global emissions by one gigatonne of CO2e through establishing a “Gigatonne End-State”.

Our approach is to get to an end-state where multiple teams are deployed focused on the goal of reducing global emissions by one gigatonne a year.

This target is then disaggregated across multiple teams in multiple geographies, as it is close to impossible to achieve a billion tonnes of CO2e reduction from one geography.

We imagine a situation where these teams have the capabilities required as well as sufficient amounts of capital, to undertake a measurable contribution towards a gigatonne.

The core equation behind our strategy is:

The more teams contributing = 
The lower the target per team

This equation allows us to meet the requirements for a success scenario in tackling global emissions reduction.

Our goal is therefore to catalyse as many teams as possible through creating financial incentives and running public campaigns.

We envision establishing a gigatonne end-state through creating a set of open protocols allowing Green Helmets teams to be self-organised by either the public sector, private sector or civil society.

As real-time data flows from established teams we will have created a feedback loop between local efforts and a shared global goals of gigatonne scale reductions.

Demonstration Funds

We will launch a series of demonstration funds across the world, first in India then in three more geographies.

Each fund will be a minimum of USD$1.5M which will be used to finance between 5-10 teams.

We refer to these teams as the Green Helmets.

Eligible  Teams  are  required  to  be  based  in  cities or regions with a population  of  1M+


Who are the Green Helmets?

A new planetary force for averting dangerous climate change.

Teams of Green Helmets will be made up of diverse people drawn from diverse backgrounds, including people directly impacted by the challenge, with the financial resources and technical support to take action.

We will bring together people from indigenous wisdom traditions, from engineering schools, from the financial sector, from government and from grassroots communities, both urban and rural.

We do not need these people to form more networks or communities of practice. We do not need people to simply gather at global conferences to profess their green credentials.

We need to form disciplined teams able to work at the pace needed to deliver real results.


How will the Green Helmets work?

We will start by convening cohorts of between 5-10 Green Helmets, consisting of 45+ people per team.

Each team will take responsibility for testing and implementing 5 “at-scale” prototypes for reducing emissions per year.

Teams  will  be  required  to run  two 6-month cycles. The  output  from  each cycle  will  be  testing  5  real world responses  or “prototypes” with specific minimum emissions reduction criteria.

Teams will “stress test” each prototype for technical, financial, social and political feasibility for 30 days. If a prototype survives the stress-test then implementation begins immediately.

Our prototypes will focus on energy efficiency. Prototypes will typically be experiments that test operational, organisational, financial, social and temporal variables. While they may involve new technology, for example new grid-management technology, they do not necessarily have to involve technological innovation.

At the end of a 6-month cycle, a prototype will either

(1) continue (to a version 2.0)
(2) fork (become 2 diff prototypes)
(3) pivot or
(4) end.

We call this phase of the work the Take-Off Phase, where teams build their operational muscles with the goal of being able to eventually meet End-State requirements.

Teams will access 10x-100x more financial resources once they have run between 2-4 cycles of prototyping.

Prototype Requirements

Each phase (Take-Off and End-State) will require teams to design and implement prototypes with minimum emissions reduction criteria.

An example of minimum criteria is an “Epsilon Prototype” which will be required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4,000 tonnes of CO2e.

This is the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from 849 passenger vehicles driven for a year or emissions avoided by 1395 tonnes of waste recycled instead of land filled.


The Gigatonne Fund is part of a pipeline of funds we are seeking partners for. If you are interested in partnership then please get in touch, or see the pipeline here.

Partnerships