- Scientists and opinion leaders agree that direct air capture and storage is needed to fight climate change and the technology needs to be scaled up as soon as possible
- The Economist Group is the first media group to include carbon dioxide removal in its sustainability strategy with Climeworks’ scalable and permanent solution, joining industry leaders such as Microsoft
- The Economist has addressed the need for direct air capture for several years in its coverage
Our carbon budget is running out. To restore a healthy balance of carbon dioxide, it is not enough to reduce emissions. We need to remove unavoidable and historic carbon emissions from the air and store them safely and permanently. Climate scenarios that limit global warming to 1.5 °C rely on large-scale applications of carbon dioxide removal technologies like Climeworks’ direct air capture. According to the IPCC, removal of carbon dioxide from the air needs to be scaled up to 810 billion tonnes by 2100.
Climeworks’ direct air capture and storage is a scalable solution that can remove carbon dioxide from the air in a permanent and safe way and does not compete with arable land. Scientists, opinion leaders and corporations are not only addressing the need for this technology, but are actively supporting its scale-up.
The Economist Group: purchasing Climeworks’ carbon removal credits due to their permanence
In 2017, The Economist pointed out that “greenhouse gases must be scrubbed from the air” and emphasised the scientific consensus outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. The Economist also addressed the fact that direct air capture does not come without its challenges and needs to be scaled up rapidly. It pointed to the need for costs to come down. Four years ago, the costs of carbon dioxide removal were considered too high to be commercially viable. However, Climeworks is the first direct air capture company able to offer the service of carbon dioxide removal to everyone – and in doing so, proves that a market for measurable and permanent carbon dioxide removal exists.
Scaling up will bring down costs
As The Economist outlined in September 2020, “which technologies and firms flourish, will depend to a large degree on getting the right pattern of regulations, subsidy and pricing”. Purchasing carbon dioxide removal credits can help to rapidly scale this much-needed climate technology, in turn leading to lower costs.
The costs of direct air capture are still high compared to other carbon dioxide removal solutions. Direct air capture and storage requires the least arable land, and provides a safe and permanent storage solution for millions of years. Pioneering customers like The Economist Group enable Climeworks to pursue its scale-up and become climate-relevant faster.
The Economist Group integrates Climeworks in its sustainability strategy
After covering the topic of direct air capture in detail, The Economist Group is taking climate action and proactively supporting the scale-up by purchasing Climeworks’ carbon dioxide removal while focusing on drastically reducing its own carbon footprint. Currently the amount of CO2 removed will equate to 13% of The Economist Group’s Scope 1 & 2 emissions in 2019, leading the way to carbon dioxide removal becoming an important component in The Economist Group’s sustainability strategy.
“We are very grateful that our technology is a key component in The Economist Group’s sustainability strategy. To see that opinion leaders are walking the talk is an important and inspirational step in the fight against climate change.”
Christoph Gebald, co-CEO and co-founder of Climeworks
“Investing in carbon removal with Climeworks is a complementary feature of The Economist Group’s sustainability strategy, as our primary focus is on emissions reduction. We believe that nascent technologies, such as direct-air capture, will be an important component in the mix of solutions for global emissions to reach net zero by 2050 and it lies in our nature to press for progress.”
Lara Boro, CEO, The Economist Group
Climeworks empowers people to reverse climate change by permanently removing carbon dioxide from the air.
One of two things happens to the Climeworks air-captured carbon dioxide: either it is returned to earth, stored safely and permanently away for millions of years, or it is upcycled into climate-friendly products such as carbon-neutral fuels and materials. The Climeworks direct air capture technology runs exclusively on clean energy, and the modular CO2 collectors can be stacked to build machines of any size.
Founded by engineers Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher, Climeworks strives to inspire 1 billion people to act now and remove carbon dioxide from the air.
Together we can build a climate-positive world. Join us!
About The Economist Group
The Economist Group is dedicated to the pursuit of progress and built on high-quality, independent analysis, a foundation of its businesses. Based in London and serving a global customer base, the Group produces digital and print content, global events, and offers a range of subscription and other services. Its flagship businesses include The Economist and research and analysis division The Economist Intelligence Unit.