CDR perspectives brunch: BCG, hosted by Climeworks, with Heirloom
The first session of the day zoomed in on the new BCG report “The Time for Carbon Removal Has Come.” Through the interviews conducted with around 100 prospective and current buyers of carbon removal, the report confirms that private sector demand for carbon removal is still too low to meet announced net zero pledges. At the same time, it far exceeds the currently available supply.
A better understanding of buyers' behavior is key to solving this puzzle. As discussed by the panelists from BCG, Heirloom, and Climeworks, buyers are particularly paying attention to quality criteria such as permanence. While cost has often been thought of as the main consideration and is still top of mind for buyers, they are willing to pay a premium for high-quality solutions.
Executive meet-up: deploying carbon removal at scale, hosted by Climeworks
During the afternoon, sustainability executives discussed what it takes to buy high-quality carbon removal for their net-zero strategy. Quality criteria and quality assurance through monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) also featured strongly in these conversations between the speakers and moderator Marcius Extavour (TIMECO2). Climeworks continues to push this topic further, most recently with the partnership with Puro.earth.
Bringing together views from JPMorgan Chase & Co., U.S. DOE FECM, Carbon180, SBTi, and WBCSD, the session underlined the urgency to act today. The SBTi stipulates that at least 90% of CO₂ emissions must be reduced and 10% permanently removed by 2050 in order to reach net zero. But these 10% still represent billions of tons of CO₂ that can only be removed if CDR is scaled up rapidly and costs brought down. Taking the team along in the process, up to the C-suite, and helping them understand the business case for a portfolio of high-quality solutions is therefore key for any company, as highlighted by Brian DiMarino (JPMorgan Chase & Co.) (see also the WBCSD’s new guide for businesses on carbon removal adoption).
Buyers of CDR are actively setting standards for the type of community engagement they require through the projects they support. As the roll-out of DAC projects is accelerating, particularly in the U.S. with the Department of Energy’s Regional DAC Hubs program, corporate buyers, governments, and project developers need to involve local communities to tailor projects to their respective needs. Ugbaad Kosar (Carbon180) underlined that this goes well beyond job creation: CDR is one of many tools to realize a just transition for a future in which a healthy environment and prosperous economy co-exist.
CDR happy hour, hosted by Climeworks
The day concluded with a casual gathering at the CDR happy hour. After co-CEO and co-founder Christoph Gebald’s opening remarks, we had the pleasure to welcome Bilha Ndirangu, CEO of Great Carbon Valley (GCV), to the stage. According to Bilha, the recently announced collaboration between Climeworks and GCV to bring large-scale DAC+S to Kenya is proof that the Global South can be at the forefront of cutting-edge CDR technologies. Rich Lesser, Global Chair at BCG, offered final remarks on the role of CDR in the fight against global warming. Much like municipal waste, CDR should be supported by public policies to use all solutions available, at scale, as fast as possible.
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