Mizuho Bank, Ltd. (President & CEO: Masahiko Kato), a subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (President & Group CEO: Masahiro Kihara), has signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a strategic partnership with KOKO Networks ("KOKO"), a Kenya-based climate-tech company tackling deforestation and carbon emissions caused by the use of charcoal as cooking fuel in urban homes, in the field of carbon credits.
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), charcoal, the dominant fuel used for cooking in urban Africa, is the main driver of deforestation on the continent. Indoor air pollution from burning charcoal causes hundreds of thousands of deaths each year across the continent, primarily among children under 5 years old, from pneumonia and acute respiratory infections. KOKO set out to tackle this problem and drive the uptake of clean energy by designing and launching a new technology-driven industry that can rapidly transition countries away from charcoal dependence.
KOKO is a climate tech company founded in 2014 to drive energy transition and forest protection in Africa. The company operates an energy utility that serves approximately one million households across eight cities in Kenya with low-cost bioethanol cooking fuel, accessed from 2,500 KOKO Fuel ATMs located inside convenience stores, and used to power KOKO bioethanol cookstoves1, as an alternative to deforestation-based charcoal.