Climeworks added to Microsoft’s climate portfolio

EIT Climate-KIC supported Climeworks, a carbon capture technology, is now part of Microsoft’s carbon removal portfolio and its plan to reach negative emissions by 2030 and remove its historic emissions by 2050.

Humans have increased atmospheric CO2 concentration by over a third since the Industrial Revolution began. These emissions have already increased global temperatures by around 1°C since pre-industrial times. According to the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C: “Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net-zero around 2050. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.”

In combination with reducing our emissions, this may be approached in two ways: Implementing natural climate solutions, such as tree planting, as well as negative emissions technologies. Climeworks’ direct air capture and storage solution is an example of the latter. 

Climeworks’ patented technology captures CO2 directly from the air using clean energy. The air-captured carbon dioxide is then either 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, fertiliser for greenhouses or bubbles in fizzy drinks.

Founded by engineers Christoph Gebald and Jan Wurzbacher, the Swiss company received training and support through EIT Climate-KIC’s Accelerator programme in 2012 and 2013, and raised over €67 million to expand its carbon dioxide removal capacities last year and another €27 million in 2018. Climeworks was also featured in Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Technologies list in 2019.

“Being part of Microsoft’s CO2 removal portfolio is a game-changer,” said Christoph Gebald, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Climeworks. “Not only does Microsoft’s approach remove their own emissions, but they are also inspiring other businesses to invest in science-based and scalable solutions that have the potential to make a significant difference in the fight against climate change—like Climeworks’ carbon dioxide removal.”

Microsoft will also provide funding to Climeworks through its Climate Innovation Fund.

“Climeworks’ direct air capture technology will serve as a key component of our carbon removal efforts,” said Elizabeth Willmott, Carbon Program Manager, Microsoft. “Their application set a high bar for technical rigor – especially the permanence of their solution, and we are looking forward to helping further scale their work with this purchase.”

In addition to its climate portfolio and Climate Innovation Fund, Microsoft has signaled its commitment to mitigating climate change through its recent partnership with EIT Climate-KIC on the Climathon, a global ideathon that fosters and supports a community of innovators working in their communities to help humanity achieve the zero emissions goal. The winner of the Climathon award “Most improved idea since 2015,” Start Park, will receive mentorship from Microsoft’s Worldwide Sustainability Community to continue its project, which uses nature-based solutions to improve the outdated design and architecture of city green spaces to foster more resilient communities.

Learn more about Climeworks’ inclusion in Microsoft’s climate portfolio via its press release.

 
Location
Switzerland
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