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Unlocking a net-zero economy through carbon removal

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Climeworks on the importance of reaching net-zero emissions and the role of the private sector in reaching this goal.The Direct Air Capture Summit 2021, hosted by Climeworks, is a platform for climate-conscious companies and their role in driving climate solutions, such as high-quality carbon removal, to achieve a net-zero future.

Carbon dioxide is the biggest anthropogenic contributor to the greenhouse effect. In the most recent 2021 IPCC report, it demonstrates that net-emissions must be reduced to zero to stabilize global temperatures. Any scenario that does not involve a reduction to zero will not stop climate change [1].

What does it mean to reach net-zero emissions?

Net-zero emissions means that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere are balanced by anthropogenic removals over a specified period [2]. To achieve this, firstly, all greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity (such as those from fossil-fueled vehicles and factories) must be reduced as much as possible. Secondly, any remaining greenhouse gas emissions that are difficult to avoid must then be balanced with an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide removal. Carbon dioxide removal means removing CO₂ from the atmosphere. This can be done by either nature-based or technological solutions, such as Climeworks’ direct air capture technology. These practices or technologies are often described as achieving "negative emissions" or "carbon sinks”.

Net-zero - pioneering companies leading the way

To combat the climate crisis and accomplish a net-zero economy, the private sector has a vital role to play.

In response to the increasingly urgent call for corporate climate action, more and more businesses have announced net-zero targets and are joining initiatives, such as the UN Global Compact or the Scienced Based Targets initiative (SBTi) [3], which provides a platform to meet the Paris Agreement goals. To date, approximately 1,700 businesses are already taking climate action in line with the SBTi targets [4] to reduce their emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C. The number of commitments to reach net-zero emissions from businesses has roughly doubled in less than a year, and this increase is said to continue [5].

The first step towards a net-zero economy is to halt practices that emit carbon in the first place.

Yet, climate science clearly states that emission reduction is not enough. To truly achieve net-zero emissions, companies not only need to integrate emissions reduction, but also emissions removal into their climate strategy. Some companies such as Swiss Re are already setting the example. Under the motto “do our best, remove the rest", carbon removal is used to compensate emissions that cannot yet be avoided, providing an essential bridge to a climate-positive future [6]. To meet public demands, more and more companies are looking to build significant sustainability portfolios and carbon removal roadmaps to meet their long-term climate goals.

The Direct Air Capture Summit 2021: a platform for carbon removal solutions

The carbon removal market is a quickly emerging industry that allows pioneering companies to achieve their mid- to long-term climate goals. Climeworks gives this market a platform: the Direct Air Capture Summit 2021.

On September 14- 15th the summit will unite scientists, industry experts and the innovators behind pioneering carbon dioxide removal solutions to showcase best practices of companies with bold sustainability targets and carbon removal strategies.

This pinnacle of innovation offers a path to progress, as we embark on what will be the most decisive decade for climate action.

Learn about concrete steps and opportunities your company could take to contribute towards a net-zero future. There is no more time to waste.

Register for the free Direct Air Capture Summit 2021 here.




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