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Third Derivative and the Grantham Trust Launch First Gigaton Captured to Accelerate Carbon Capture Innovations

Boulder, CO, December 7, 2021

Today, Third Derivative (D3), a global climate technology startup accelerator, announced a new four-year partnership with The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust— a leader in catalytic climate funding and environmental protection. The partnership, First Gigaton Captured, will work to find, fund, and scale the most promising Carbon Removal startups through a joint effort aimed to massively scale breakthrough negative emissions technologies.

Third Derivative aligns the world’s most promising climate tech startups with focused investors, corporate partners, and market experts to increase the success and speed to market of these innovations. The launch of First Gigaton Captured will support the rapid deployment of viable carbon removal solutions to full commercial adoption with a dedicated Carbon Capture Cohort of startups admitted to D3’s program in 2022.

“Innovation and technology are our only hopes for solving climate change and building a sustainable future. At the Grantham Foundation, we believe that early stage startups are the most potent force for innovation. Launching First Gigaton Captured with Third Derivative will push forward climate technology and commercialize carbon capture faster—it’s the kind of initiative that is absolutely needed,” says Jeremy Grantham.

According to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impacts of global warming, we may need to remove 2-20 billion tons of CO2 from our atmosphere per year, starting in 2050 to prevent further catastrophic climate damage. To achieve this staggering level of annual drawdown, we must fast-track every safe, cost-effective and scalable approach possible to directly pull CO2 out of the air. As part of this portfolio of negative emissions technologies, direct-air-capture is a critical “insurance policy” given its potential to pull gigatons of CO2 directly from the atmosphere every year and lock it up in permanent, sequestered storage.

But the primary challenge with durable carbon removal solutions like DAC is that these approaches are still new and far too expensive to scale–which First Gigaton Captured is committed to addressing.

The goal of this new initiative? Work to reduce the cost of durable carbon removal to less than one hundred dollars per ton and provide the necessary support to help the world’s best carbon removal innovations achieve gigaton-scale carbon capture by 2050. This is an ambitious aim, but with the right stakeholders, D3 believes it is possible to greatly accelerate the implementation of these new technologies through an ecosystem-focused approach to accelerating climate innovations.

Key elements of the First Gigaton Captured partnership include:

  1. Leveraging the expertise of Third Derivative (D3) and the RMI to deliver a body of research that finds and highlights the most promising carbon capture and removal pathways.
  2. Launching a deeply-resourced D3 Carbon Capture Cohort in 2022, supporting the market’s most-promising carbon capture startups with deployable and high impact solutions. This will include scientific and market experts to support technical advancement and direct funding opportunities to help startups advance their systems to integrated pilot scale.
  3. Unlocking a significant amount of catalytic capital to accelerate the technical development of high impact DAC solutions, including funding proof-of-concepts, pilots, and first-of-a-kind commercial facilities.
  4. Cultivating the market demand for high quality carbon removal with leading corporate partners.

In addition to the Grantham Trust partnership, Third Derivative is also excited to introduce their newest cohort of startups at their Second Annual Global Summit on December 7-8, 2021, with the first day open to the public. Cohort 419 includes 16 impressive startups chosen from over 200 applicants. More than half of this year’s startups have diverse representation among senior leadership—a metric D3 is committed to continuously improving and growing. This new group of 16 startups joins the 46 current climate tech startups currently in Third Derivative’s global accelerator program.

“The role of accelerator programs, investors, and innovators as leaders in the mission to combat the climate crisis is more important than ever. The D3 and Grantham Trust partnership is a tremendous move in the right direction to find and fund startups with negative emissions technologies,” says Danny Kennedy, CEO of New Energy Nexus and D3 Board Chair.

D3 is always looking for new startups to join the accelerator program. If you have an innovative idea to help address emissions challenges, you can apply for Third Derivative’s general cohort here. Applications for the Carbon Capture Cohorts will open in Q1 of 2022.

If you’re a corporate partner, technical advisor, or investor interested in helping to find, fund, and scale the most promising carbon capture startups, please fill out this contact form to express your interest here.

D3 is hopeful that this initiative will accelerate the speed of carbon capture innovation and deployment, supporting the path to gigaton-scale capture by 2050.


About Third Derivative

Founded in 2020 by RMI and New Energy Nexus, Third Derivative (D3) is accelerating the rate of climate innovation. D3’s inclusive ecosystem rapidly finds, funds, and scales climate tech globally. By uniting and aligning committed investors, large corporations, and market and policy experts with the world’s most promising climate tech startups, D3 bridges finance and resource gaps to increase the speed to market. D3’s flexible and highly curated accelerator program enables startups to focus on their unique needs and opportunities. Together, we are moving markets to achieve an equitable climate future.

For more information, visit

About The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust

The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust is a public charity and 509(a)(3) supporting organization focused on reducing and reversing global environmental degradation. Its independent trustees are the CEOs of Rare, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund US and Rocky Mountain Institute. The Grantham Foundation and Grantham Trust invest to redesign our energy systems; to improve soil health; to spare the ocean from acidification and recapture carbon from the atmosphere.

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