Posted: April 10, 2024

Natural Exchanges: John Mennel, Deloitte

Watch Deloitte Sustainability leader John Mennel explain why nature-based carbon removals are critical to their clients’ net zero goals, what drew Deloitte to partner with Catona, and how the climate transition “just won’t work” if it doesn’t benefit the communities and ecosystems most affected.


My name's John Mennel. I lead the assets and data team for Deloitte Sustainability. When we talk about carbon removals and the voluntary carbon markets, we believe that it's a very important part of reaching net zero commitments for most of our clients and for the world as a whole.

When we're reducing carbon, removing carbon from the atmosphere, it's important to do that in a way that regenerates ecosystems. Ten to 15% of global emissions are from destruction of ecosystems, so we believe that nature-based removals are going to be critical for all companies, for at least some percentage of their decarbonization plans.

A company like Catona that is able to offer high quality nature-based removals at scale is a really important partner for Deloitte and our clients.

There are several things that are really important. Additionality, of course, is extremely important. Is this project that is either mitigating or ideally removing carbon from the atmosphere in a way that wouldn't have occurred without financing?

And then permanence is really important. And so the quality of the nature based product — how long that carbon is going to be sequestered — is critical.

Also, the co-benefits. How does it benefit the community and the people who are doing the work? That's really important to us because climate transition needs to be fair and needs to compensate the communities that are closest to it.

And the reason for that is really: if it's not fair, it just won't work. It's not an engineering problem. The people who are most closely related to the project need to benefit, and that's one of the reasons that companies like Catona are really important to us and met a lot of our criteria.

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