How Ecologi finds and funds the most impactful climate solutions

How Ecologi finds and funds the most impactful climate solutions

One of the most common questions we get asked at Ecologi is how we choose the carbon avoidance projects we fund. We’re all about transparency and accountability at Ecologi, and we’re keen to lift the lid on how these important decisions get made.

Our process and approach is guided by a number of factors which we’ll touch on in this blog, but the foundation to these decisions lies in our Climate Impact Regionalisation Strategy. In this article, we’ll deep dive into some of the key takeaways from the Strategy document, and discuss the background behind this key piece of research.


Climate change mitigation relies on developing policies, and supporting projects, which directly address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – specifically targeting solutions with a high potential impact. Often, the success of these solutions heavily depends on regionally- or locally-specific factors, which can be categorised into:

  • Financial and political factors (like funding, governance and institutions)
  • Geographical factors (like project size, topography and local climate) 

At the same time, there are different levels of responsibility that cities, regions and countries have, over the mitigation of climate change. With relatively small contributions to global climate change – but extremely high vulnerabilities to its consequences –  developing regions and countries are at the forefront of the crises. These countries and regions also have less financial capacity to mitigate and adapt. For Ecologi, contextualising our response to a global crisis is not only necessary from a climate perspective, but it also enables us to include issues of environmental and social justice into our project selection criteria. 

As well as the day-to-day processes we use to scrutinise climate projects to ensure they are high quality, we also have our finger on the pulse of climate research and climate finance, to ensure that the projects we support are going to contribute wherever there is the greatest opportunity to have the biggest impact.

In early 2022, we therefore formalised our Climate Impact Regionalisation Strategy, a science-based analysis of where these opportunities are. 

The Strategy was specially developed to provide guidance for the regional application of climate impact solutions and projects. 

The Strategy document will give you an overview of regional climate change impacts on human systems and settlements, in order to better capture regional vulnerabilities to climate change. We’ve analysed regionalities in the light of past and current climate change finance, and described the available climate mitigation strategies globally and regionally.

Finally, and to integrate the climate change discourse into broader environmental and planning discussions, we reflect on the synergies and tradeoffs between climate solutions, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and biodiversity. Therefore, the Strategy not only looks at climate change mitigation but also attempts to account for biodiversity and planetary boundaries. 

Unclear on any of the climate terms? Take a look at our glossary!

Below you’ll find our top 10 research findings from the Strategy:

  1. National-scale emissions targets cover a huge chunk (90% in 2020) of global emissions – but only 6% of global emissions are covered by targets with a net-zero pathway which will keep warming under 1.5ºC.
  2. Current annual climate finance flows of $640 billion (USD) are nowhere near estimated needs – which are estimated at around $5 trillion (USD) per year. In developing regions, current climate investments need to be multiplied by 10 to 20 times on average by 2030.
  3. A quarter of global emissions (2019 baseline) could be avoided by options with mitigation costs lower than $20 (USD) per tCO2e.
  4. Onshore wind and solar photovoltaics are anticipated to dominate the growth of renewables in all regions. Other renewables such as hydro, bioenergy, geothermal, and ocean energy have limited impact – except in specific regions like the Middle East, North Africa, North America and China.
  5. Nature-based solutions can provide about a third of the climate mitigation needed by 2030 and a fifth by 2050. Half of this impact comes from the protection and conservation of natural ecosystems. 
  6. Restoration efforts should primarily focus in regions throughout the tropics, particularly in the lowland tropical rainforest landscape. 
  7. Restoration activities need to be targeted to specific regions, for example with low opportunity cost and high conservation value from a biodiversity perspective, like in the North and South of the Congo Basin, and in Central and South America.
  8. Direct air capture and storage (DACS) is a suitable solution in countries with high waste heat production and low CO2 intensities within their national grid – and not recommended in developing countries, (semi-)arid regions, and countries with a fossil-fuel reliant electricity mix. 
  9. Because of water use required, most regions, except Western Europe and Southeast Asia, have very limited potential for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) as a reasonable mitigation solution. 
  10. At the project level, the integration of social co-benefits such as health outcomes in selecting climate solutions can help prioritise one region or country over another. This applies for example in West and East Africa, as well as in Southern and Southeast Asia where the distribution of efficient cookstoves can be applied as a joint health and climate solution.   

At Ecologi, we recognise that the science of climate change mitigation goes deeper than presented in the Strategy – and we always recommend taking a look at the latest IPCC Reports for detail on the latest developments.

Our Strategy seeks to apply learnings from the latest climate science – to help to further enhance the impact of our climate projects by providing high-level guidance as to where our impact funding should be placed. 


Download the full Climate Impact Regionalisation Strategy here


Sign up to Ecologi today to start taking real climate action 🌿