The Livelihoods Carbon Fund is a private sector initiative led by Danone that uses carbon finance to restore ecosystems and improve the lot of smallholder farmers

France’s leadership on climate change includes a commitment to the $100bn Green Climate Fund and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. In his speech last month the new ecology minister Nicolas Hulot restated those commitments, pledging $1bn for the Green Climate Fund and another $2bn for renewables in Africa.  

France already funds such projects through the FFEM, the French Facility for Global Environment, which links several ministries with agencies in the French-speaking world, particularly in Africa. The FFEM is also supporting an innovative private-sector collaboration to raise carbon finance for smallholder farmers, the Livelihoods Carbon Fund.

The fund is the brainchild of Bernard Giraud, who started the Danone Fund for Nature in 2008, when  he was in charge of sustainability at the giant food company.  He was looking to make the Evian water brand carbon-neutral. Rather than simply buy carbon credits to offset emissions, Giraud set up a model that would allowed Danone to work directly with NGOs and project developers.  It calls itself a private-sector impact investment vehicle.  The projects are designed to deliver those impacts – social and economic – to farmers and also to the environment by restoring ecosystems. 

The fund set up the world’s largest mangrove restoration project...

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