Mobilizing high-integrity nature-based climate solutions for the private market

Committed to accelerating the pace and scale of forest protection to help reverse global deforestation.

Emergent is a non-profit organization with the sole mission of accelerating the speed and scale of tropical forest conservation to combat the climate crisis. With an international team of world-class climate experts and a board with deep private and public sector experience, Emergent is supported by a coalition including the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Norwegian government’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI).

Addressing the current climate and deforestation emergencies require systemic and transformative solutions. Emergent was created to catalyze this type of action by supporting countries that successfully reduce deforestation, delivering climate impacts and other vital benefits for the people and animals that call the forest home.

The private sector has the potential and opportunity to mobilize its power to halt and reverse deforestation. But it’s not happening fast enough. The world loses 7 million hectares of tropical forest annually — the equivalent of 40 football fields a minute, every minute. And once it’s gone, it’s gone.

We are a catalyst. Join our coalition of partners, and together we can accelerate the protection of the earth’s most precious ecosystems. Get in touch at

Linking nature-based climate solutions to market-based infrastructure

Emergent is a nonprofit buyer and seller of credits with the discipline of a commercial market actor

As a nonprofit organization dedicated to maximizing environmental and sustainable development impacts, Emergent operates as a professional market facilitator to unite the conservation efforts of tropical forest countries with the ambitious emissions reduction goals of corporations and donor governments.

Our theory of change

Emergent was formed to create an innovative approach to jumpstart greater market investment, mobilize finance, and incentivize the exchange of REDD+ credits to maximize climate, ecosystem, and sustainable development benefits.

High integrity at scale

Emergent is the first-of-its-kind to match guaranteed finance for large-scale national or sub-national verified REDD+ credits with private sector demand. Emergent is priming the pump to help catalyze markets that will drive capital toward forest protection on a global scale.

Our Leadership

The Emergent Board of Directors and Executive team are tasked with safeguarding environmental and social impact returns, while securing financial sustainability.

of Directors

Lorenzo Bernasconi

Managing Director Innovative Finance, The Rockefeller Foundation

Leads the Foundation’s innovative finance and impact investing portfolio. Prior executive roles at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, the Boston Consulting Group and UBS investment banking.

Mahua Acharya

Asia Director and Senior Advisor, Climate Policy Initiative (CPI)

Brings extensive international green finance, renewables, and carbon markets expertise as well as strong regional expertise. Prior executive roles at Global Green Growth Institute and C-Quest Capital LLC.

Peter Knight

Founding Partner and President (former) of Generation Investment Management

Led Generation Investment Management’s sustainable investing strategies in public and private markets. Former Board Director for the National Parks Foundation. Former Chief of Staff to VP Al Gore when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Richard Kauffman

Chairman, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Served as New York State’s most senior energy official as “Energy Czar,” or Chairman of Energy and Finance, under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Former Senior Advisor to Secretary Steven Chu at the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior executive roles at Good Energies, Inc., and Goldman Sachs.

Nat Keohane (Board Observer)

Senior Vice President for Climate, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

Leads EDF’s Climate program and brings deep expertise in carbon markets and U.S. and global climate and energy policy. Former Special Assistant to President Obama for Energy and Environment in the National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council.


Dan Zarin |  
Director of Programs. Climate and Land Use Alliance
Lorenzo Bernasconi |  
Managing Director, Innovation Finance, The Rockefeller Foundation
Belinda Morris |  
former Program Officer, Climate and Land Use, Packard Foundation

Nat Keohane |  
Senior Vice President for Climate, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Andreas Dahl Jorgensen |  
Deputy Director General, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment (NICFI)


Eron Bloomgarden |  
Executive Director, Emergent

International expert in environmental markets, climate finance, and impact investing. Inaugural faculty of the MSc in Sustainability Management, now adjunct professor at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Founder of Climate and Forest Capital LLC, Former Partner at Encourage Capital and Portfolio Manager of the EKO Green Carbon Fund, President of Environmental Markets at Equator LLC, and U.S. Country Director at EcoSecurities.

Ruben Lubowski, Ph.D. |  
Senior Operating Advisor, Emergent

Natural resource economics and climate policy expert, widely recognized for analyzing and modeling land-use changes and policy approaches for reducing emissions through forestry, agriculture, and bioenergy activities. Chief Natural Resource Economist at EDF, with prior research and policy leadership at UDSA’s Economic Research Service, the UN Development Program and the World Bank.

Katie Deeg, Ph.D. |  
Associate, Emergent

An Associate at Emergent, Katie has experience in climate change mitigation technologies, clean energy research, scientific modeling, and data analysis. Prior to Emergent, Katie completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where she researched materials for clean energy applications including carbon capture and hydrogen storage. She carried out part of her doctoral work at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. Before her Ph.D., Katie did computational chemistry research at University Pablo de Olavide in Spain under a Fulbright grant.

Moon Herrick |  
Associate, Emergent

Moon Herrick is a climate finance professional with expertise in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Ms. Herrick’s recent experience includes carbon accounting and knowledge management for the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility and serving as the technical expert on forests for the International Finance Corporation’s division of Climate Business Development. Prior to her work for the World Bank Group, Ms. Herrick spent two years at the Green Climate Fund, where responsibilities included forest policy and proposal management as well as external affairs. Ms. Herrick holds an MSc in Human Geography from Lund University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University.

Kat Penney |
Executive Assistant, Emergent

Kat Penney has over 10 years experience working as Executive Assistant and Office Manager. Previously, she worked for a not for profit social enterprise in London which researched how the arts can benefit healthcare. Kat studied her Masters of Art in Belfast School of Art, and she continues to make her own artwork which focuses on the climate crisis and how to try to alert people to what’s happening. Working with Emergent means she can use her skills to try to make a larger impact.

Interim Team

Elizabeth VanDerWoude |  
Chief Financial Officer, Emergent

Elizabeth is the CFO at the Global Development Incubator and operates as the interim CFO for Emergent. Elizabeth has experience managing finance, accounting, compliance, human resources, and planning at a range of non-profit organizations in positions focused on capacity development.  Prior to GDI she served as Senior Director of Finance and Accounting at NASTAD and as Vice President of Finance and Administration at Education for Employment. Elizabeth received her MBA from Georgetown University and studied both International Development and Accounting as an undergraduate. Elizabeth aspires to grow a flourishing garden.

Jon Shepard |  
Chief Operations and Strategy Officer, Emergent

Jon is a Director at the Global Development Incubator and operates as the interim Chief Operations and Strategy Officer for Emergent. Previously, Jon was a Director at EY, where he conceived and set up a global non-profit unit that worked with leading impact entrepreneurs in low and middle-income countries. Earlier in his career, Jon worked for Accenture, The Prince’s Trust – a leading youth development NGO in the UK – and was an infantry officer in the British Army.

Bryan McCann |  
Senior Associate, Emergent

Bryan is a Senior Associate at GDI where he is seconded as an interim Senior Associate to Emergent. Prior to GDI, Bryan completed his Master’s in International and Development Economics at Yale University, where he studied the impact of changing climate on food prices and conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. He also interned at the World Food Programme in Rome, analysing the impact of inequality of humanitarian aid. Before Yale, Bryan was a management consultant with Oliver Wyman, a top-five global consultancy, and a financial analyst at One Acre Fund, a large agricultural development social enterprise.