Last week, Climeworks hosted its annual Direct Air Capture (DAC) Summit in the Swiss capital, Zurich.
The event brought together representatives of the entire spectrum of the carbon industry, including carbon dioxide removal (CDR), carbon capture and storage (CCS), finance, and more.
By providing a unique platform where business, policy and technology experts can come together and provide meaningful climate solutions, the summit aims to accelerate the global move to net-zero.
Climeworks co-CEOs and co-founders Jan Wurzbacher and Christoph Gebald opened the DAC Summit 2022 with a brief review of the company’s 10-year history and the tremendous way the company has come since its launch.
Both CEOs outlined some of the key milestones on the company’s roadmap to achieving 1 gigaton of carbon removal by 2050, such as closing long-term contracts with heavyweight partners across various industries and reaching 14,000 individual customers, who’ve ordered carbon removal services.
Climeworks has so far also raised a monumental $650 million in a record-breaking financing round, which includes funding from institutional investors.
Following the co-founders’ inspiring introduction, the first speaker to have the floor was professor Johan Rockstrom, who delivered a very grim yet very urgent message on the current state of the climate crisis.
And of course the firm’s pride and joy are its DAC plants Orca and Mammoth, which was only just launched recently.
Rockstrom underlined the present danger that we face of destabilizing the entire planet and accentuated on the rapidly closing ‘window for safe landing’ that society must hurry to catch before that opportunity is forever lost.
Following the alarming call for much-needed action, the floor was given to Dr Gabrielle Walker, who shone some light on what can be done to make the best of this window of opportunity.
Dr Walker has been studying climate change for decades and has been working on building bridges between industries so they can help one another advance the decarbonization of the planet.
Getting CDR, CCS and DAC to work in unison and compliment each other, Dr Walker highlighted, is fundamental to bringing about meaningful, rapid change.
Other speakers addressed the matter of incorporating renewables in DAC and senior executive at GE Renewable Paul Judge even used the wind industry’s scaleup as an example of how direct air capture could develop in the years to come.
And another pillar of scaling this technology that was discussed at length during the DAC Summit 2022 was the matter of investment with Dr Clea Kolster form Lowercarbon Capital offering her invaluable insight from a financial standpoint.
Kolster pointed at Climeworks and Heirloom, whose CEO was also present at the event, as excellent examples of how it is possible to raise the necessary funding for carbon removal and use it to scale these much-needed solutions.
The Frontier Fund was also brought up as a stellar example of how investments in climate solutions can be made possible and Kolster believes this to be the beginning of a wave of similar funds.