Palantir, Trafigura Oil, aims to track carbon emissions for the metal industry

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DAVOS – Palanti Technologies Inc. and global commodities trader Trafigura are eyeing a new market, their chief executives told Reuters on Monday: Tracking carbon emissions for the oil, gas, refined metals and concentrated sectors.

Companies are building a platform for oil major and other product companies to test the environmental impact of their supply chain, applying Trafigura data to a planter’s operating system known as a foundry.

The effort represents a potentially lucrative long-term opportunity at a time when Palanter’s revenue outlook has fallen short of expectations, with share turnover down 57% this year.

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The firm, co-founded by billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel in 2003 to help with US counterterrorism operations, now sells about half of the money to the private sector. BP PLC is among its fossil-fuel extraction customers who have pledged a green transformation over the next few decades.

“This is going to be one of the biggest things we’ve ever done,” said Alex Carp, chief executive of Palantir, in a joint interview at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The market is “huge. In terms of size, I think it touches everyone,” said Jeremy Weir, CEO of Trafigura.

The idea grew from a pilot last year. Trafigura’s global head of carbon trading has approached Palantir with a desire to better evaluate indirect carbon footprints, known as “Scope Three” emissions.

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Making the trial into a joint marketing partnership represents a well-known playbook for Palantir. The company, which recently relocated from Palo Alto, California to Denver, previously partnered with aircraft maker Airbus SE to sell “the central operating system in the airline industry,” according to Palantir’s latest annual report.

Customers can subscribe to the new platform and take part in what Palantier and Trafigura call a consortium. They did not disclose the financial terms.

Concerns over energy security have not diminished interest in sustainability due to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Weir said. “We have a serious bump in the road, but we still have to decarbonize,” he said.

For Palantir, the war, which Moscow has called a “special operation”, has already created possibilities for other products, such as secure data transfers between allies.

“You have to use your imagination to figure out how those things can be used, but we play an important role in the security of the West,” Carp said. (Reporting by Jeffrey Dustin and Dmitry Zhadanikov; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Alexander Smith)

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