Nature-Based Carbon Removal: Microsoft Agrees to Panama Reforestation Deal

2 minute read | June.13.2024

Microsoft has agreed to purchase 1.6 million tons of carbon removal credits over 30 years from Ponterra, a leading developer and operator of the world’s highest-quality carbon and biodiversity projects.

Orrick advised Microsoft in “a novel set of carbon removal streaming and offtake agreements” in Panama in collaboration with Carbon Streaming Corporation and Rubicon Carbon, the company said.

The agreements involve funding to plant more than six million trees from 75 native species on 10,000 hectares on the Azuero Peninsula in Panama. 

This was the second deal Microsoft has announced in May 2024 involving decarbonization through reforestation: The company also announced an agreement to buy three million tons of carbon removal credits over 15 years from, a reforestation organization in Brazil.


Microsoft has embraced nature-based solutions in addressing climate change as part of a commitment to be carbon negative by 2030.

  • Ponterra is a leading developer and operator of the world’s highest-quality carbon and biodiversity projects. By focusing on restoring nature on degraded agricultural lands, Ponterra aims to reverse climate change, bring back biodiversity, and uplift rural communities. Founded in 2023 in London by experienced nature-based solutions and climate tech operators, Ponterra has a diverse team of professionals across the UK, U.S. and Latin America. 
  • Rubicon Carbon partners with the world’s largest enterprises to help them achieve their sustainability goals while driving global decarbonization. Backed by TPG Rise Climate and led by top executives from finance, technology, and climate science, Rubicon Carbon delivers innovative carbon credit solutions to global businesses and unlocks decarbonization at scale. 
  • Carbon Streaming Corporation pioneered the use of streaming transactions, a proven and flexible funding model, to scale high-integrity carbon credit projects to advance global climate action and additional United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Carbon Streaming is a trusted source for buyers seeking high-quality carbon credits. 


The project is expected to generate 3.24 million tons of carbon removal credits over 30 years, the companies said. It also “will restore a unique tropical dry forest,” Brian Marrs, Microsoft’s senior director for energy & carbon removal, said on LinkedIn.

“This collaboration shines a light on the importance of innovative financial and commercial collaboration to advance climate solutions,” he said. 

Microsoft’s Annie Guo said the transaction “reflects Microsoft's continued commitment to innovate, iterate, and collaborate to bring to the nature-based carbon removal market new business models that put the community first, get native trees into the ground quickly, and prove NBS bankability.”


Orrick’s Lana Le Hir, Teresa Hill and Li Shen advised Microsoft. 

Marrs highlighted “the incredible support from Lana Le Hir and the team” at Orrick. Microsoft’s Annie Guo cited “excellent counsel advice/drafting from Lana Le Hir, without whom this deal would not have been possible on the Microsoft side.”


Pontera announcement

Microsoft announcement

Carbon Streaming Corporation announcement

Rubicon Carbon announcement

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