Rothesay Life – a UK pension insurance company managing more than £60 billion has chosen Climeworks for carbon dioxide removal in order to move its operations to net zero within eight years.
The company, securing pensions for more than 800,000 Britons, wants to offset all of its emissions by 2030. It has been estimated that by 2030 Climeworks will have captured enough carbon to cover Rothesay’s operations for the whole decade.
The deal would also support Climeworks’ direct air capture and permanent storage technology to gain footing and scale up its operations. Long-term agreements like this 10-year commitment are crucial to help accelerate the market of carbon removal. It gives both sides planning security and allows Climeworks to better leverage market demand impact, while Rothesay is ensured longer-term access to carbon removal capacity.
Climeworks’ climate change solution involves the direct capture of CO2 from ambient air and then permanently sequestering those emissions deep underground with a technology that turns them into a rock for extra safety. The company is partnering with Carbfix that owns the technology turning CO2 into a rock for a period of less than two years.
“Rothesay is delighted to partner with Climeworks to remove the CO2 produced by the day-to-day running of our business. As part of Our Pathway to Net Zero, we have conducted rigorous due diligence on our carbon removal options and have chosen Climeworks because its ground-breaking technology allows us to measurably neutralize the environmental impact of our operations,” said David Land, Rothesay’s Head of Investment Strategy and chair of its Climate Change Working Group.
In addition, Rothesay explained it selected Climeworks because its carbon removal can be accurately measured and is characterized by the strongest standards of additionality and permanence while avoiding social and environmental harms.
Climeworks also commissioned in September 2021 the largest direct air capture facility in the world – Orca located in Iceland. It now captures almost 4,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, with expansion to 1 million tons of CO2 removal capacity planned by the second half of the decade. At the plant, the company also uses Carfix technology.
Carbon dioxide removal agreements like this one are a strong signal the market is interested in permanent removal of emissions despite the current high costs associated with them. Agreements done at this time are also critical for scaling the technology to a state where it becomes widely available.