· 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 as highlighted in recent IPCC report
· In a pioneering commitment Swiss Re signs the world’s first and largest 10-year carbon removal purchase agreement with direct air capture and storage worth 10 million USD
· Further, Climeworks and Swiss Re have committed to a strategic partnership. The collaboration will include developing risk management knowledge and risk transfer solutions, as well as to explore future investment and project finance opportunities
· Such a partnership is unique and so far unrivalled in the voluntary carbon market for high-quality carbon removal. It is a unique lever to support the development of the direct air capture and storage industry
The summer of 2021 has shown a vast variety of extreme weather events around the world and thereby given an outlook on the consequences of the climate crisis. To limit global warming to safe levels, we need to do everything we can. The latest report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change confirms that it is crucial to reduce our emissions drastically and on top of that remove unavoidable and historic carbon emissions from the air permanently. Climeworks’ carbon dioxide removal via direct air capture technology is the only solution that can reduce atmospheric concentration of CO2 in a scalable manner by capturing CO2 from the air today and storing it permanently underground.
Swiss Re’s pioneering commitment
Swiss Re committed in 2019 to reach net-zero operational emissions by 2030 by reducing their carbon footprint and removing any residual emissions. They are walking the talk by committing to a unique long-term partnership with Climeworks. Swiss Re and Climeworks are launching a cutting-edge collaboration by signing the worlds’ first 10-year carbon removal purchase agreement. This first of its kind agreement is worth 10 million USD. Both the length and the total value of the partnership are so far unrivalled in the voluntary carbon market for this type of innovative high-quality carbon removal. The partnership with Swiss Re is of integral importance to Climeworks: the re/insurance industry is at the forefront of assessing complex risk structures including those of climate change. Re/insurers are capable of structuring those risks and allocating them in an efficient way. Swiss Re’s unique long-term commitment sends once again a strong signal emphasizing that a pure climate solution like Climeworks’ technology is important to reach the Paris Agreement climate targets.
Supporting the rapid scale up
This commitment is by its nature providing a structure for interested buyers to enter into similar purchase agreements with Climeworks. Swiss Re is sending a key demand signal to carbon removal solution providers and investors. Pioneering customers like Swiss Re and their long-term commitment prove that a market for measurable and permanent carbon dioxide removals already exists today and will grow significantly in the future.
Bringing climate solutions to scale not only requires the right demand signals, but also de-risking and financing.
This is why the partnership between Swiss Re and Climeworks goes beyond the pioneering 10-year carbon removal purchase agreement with further joint activities being assessed together.
About Climeworks’ direct air capture and storage technology
Powered solely by renewable energy, Climeworks’ direct air capture plants capture CO2 from the air. In Iceland, Climeworks’ partner Carbfix mixes the CO2 with water and pumps it deep underground where it reacts with the basaltic rock formations and mineralizes: the CO2 literally turns into stone. Climeworks’ technology is scalable and does not compete with arable land. This September, Climeworks is going to launch its new large-scale direct air capture and storage plant “Orca” in Iceland, bringing large-scale direct air capture technology to reality.
"We are very proud to have established the basis for a unique long-term partnership with the leading risk knowledge company Swiss Re. This is a decisive milestone for the scale-up of Climeworks and the direct air capture industry.” Christoph Gebald, co-CEO and co-founder of Climeworks
"To mitigate the risks of climate change, the world needs to scale-up carbon removal on top of, not instead of emission reductions. By partnering with Climeworks we can play to our strengths in this endeavour, as a risk taker, investor, and forward-looking buyer of climate solutions” Christian Mumenthaler, Swiss Re's Group CEO and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum's Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders
Climeworks empowers people and companies to fight global warming by offering carbon dioxide removal as a service via direct air capture (DAC) technology. At Orca, Climeworks’ DAC facility in Iceland, the CO2 is permanently removed from the air by capturing and geologically storing it for thousands of years with Climeworks’ storage partner Carbfix. Climeworks’ DAC facilities run exclusively on clean energy, and our modular CO2 collectors can be stacked to build machines of any capacity.
Founded by engineers Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher in 2009, Climeworks is on a journey to climate impact at scale. To do so, we strive to inspire 1 billion people to act and remove CO2 from the air. Climeworks is spear-heading the DAC industry globally, with the world’s largest DAC facility and storage installation in operation and a team of 300 Climeworkers determined to contribute to a net-zero future. Our growing customer base includes over 160 companies, including multinationals such as Microsoft, BCG, UBS or Swiss Re, as well as more than 18,000 individual Climate Pioneers.
About Swiss Re
The Swiss Re Group is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, insurance and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer, working to make the world more resilient. It anticipates and manages risk – from natural catastrophes to climate change, from ageing populations to cyber crime. The aim of the Swiss Re Group is to enable society to thrive and progress, creating new opportunities and solutions for its clients. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1863, the Swiss Re Group operates through a network of around 80 offices globally.
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