Jim Mann, using biochar and enhanced weathering to super charge the carbon potential of ecosystem regeneration

What is the role of profit in scaling regeneration? How do we sell credits for biochar? What is enhanced weathering and why does it matter? How can we deploy billions in restoring ecosystems, increasing biodiversity, and storing a lot of carbon permanently? Jim Mann, founder of The Future Forest Company, joins us to talk about the wonders of enhanced weathering co-deployed with biochar and why this experiment deserves billions of dollars of investment. 


The Future Forest Company’s Vision

The Future Forest Company was born with the goal of tackling climate change, eradicating biodiversity crisis, and restoring  ecological systems while profiting at the same time. There are many people who still need to be educated about climate problems, while those who already know about them do not take any action either. Hence, for any type of movement to have an impact, the government, non-government organisations, big corporations, and everyone must be involved. 

“You can’t take a view of what’s happening today in real action. It’s not at the scale that the problem demands. We’re still in that phase of whether it’s denial or inaction.” – Jim Mann

The Wonders of Enhanced Weathering

The Future Forest Company earns a huge chunk of its profit by selling credits from “enhanced weathering”, one of the company’s focus experiments. Enhanced weathering is a process that helps plants grow at a considerably faster pace, saving tonnes of carbon dioxide. At the moment, The Future Forest Company can remove about 13 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, proving this to be a promising experiment worthy to be funded as credit.

“The big difference is that enhanced weathering is permanent. Once that process has occurred, that carbon dioxide is locked up in geological formations, so you’re talking about 100,000 years to a million years, depending on which pathway it goes. But all of that carbon is permanently removed.” – Jim Mann

How Biochar Multiplies the Advantages

There isn’t enough land on this planet that would suffice for traditional reforestation. Hence, The Future Forest Company decided to focus on minimising leakage of restoring ecosystems by blending biochar and enhanced weathering, which means having less land for reforestation. This strategy multiplies the carbon removal by 10 times, reducing its negative impacts to the ecosystems. 

“By fixing it through the biochar process, that carbon will stay as effectively a powdered charcoal, and which we can put back into the soil where it helps improve the soil, but also stores the carbon for hundreds, if not thousands of years.” – Jim Mann

Talking About Investments and Biodiversity

At the moment, The Future Forest Company has enough “credits” to use, and they also have lands they want to buy, which would be perfect for their operations in terms of law and weather. They just need to secure investments to make their plans happen, which is already happening because there are companies who believe in their solutions as well as in their vision.  Also, talking about biodiversity, Jim mentioned about the possibility of normalising “selective felling,” which could be good for the forests and carbon reduction in the long run. 

“I think this is a piece of understanding how to scale the business and how to grow the business, because that’s ultimately where they get the returns from.”

Other Important Points Discussed:

Koen and Jim also talked about:

  • farming not being a revenue, contrary to what many think;
  • getting rid of all the chemical inputs that not regenerative at all;
  • bringing in global carbon and biodiversity tax; 
  • wanting to continue scaling, enhancing, and protecting diversity. 

To know more about Jim Mann and The Future Forest Company, download and listen to this episode. 



Feedback, comments, suggestions? Reach me via Twitter @KoenvanSeijen, in the comments below or through Get in Touch on this website.

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The above references an opinion and is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

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