Photo by Alex Iby
To reverse climate change, two things must be done: stop emissions and remove CO2 ; close the tap and mop it up. For us CO2 removal is not a problem, but a solution – working with nature we provide not only the means to remove the excess carbon, but also the resources for the bio-based circular economy. We love carbon, as we realise that it is the basic building block of everything that lives.
To reverse climate change we need to close the tap and mop.
The amount of CO2 that needs to be removed is enormous. Science learns us: about 1500 gigatons this century (Rockström et al (2017), National Academies (2015)). This is in weight comparable to a stack of elephants from here to the moon – and back. We only work with methods that have the potential to scale up substantially and have positive side effects.
Our CO2 removal challenge for this century.
Nature is great at fixing carbon. In the images below you see one year of carbon dioxide on our planet: in the fall the plants on the Northern hemisphere (the largest landmass) let go of their leaves and the concentration increases, in spring the carbon is taken up again as they grow. The earth breathes. We just did add a bit too much ourselves, year by year, and now must help nature to remove the excess and restore the balance. We learn from and strengthen nature to get that done.
One year of carbon dioxide: the earth breathes. Source: Nasa.
Plants are actually great at capturing carbon. Trees grow themselves mainly from carbon they take right out of the air. Seaweeds and other algae are among the fastest growing plants on the planet. As rocks weather they store CO2 , and when we grind rocks into sand this works much faster. And there is more. But again, we have to look at scalable methods. And we have to decide where we store the captured CO2 .
Sinking off seaweed is a simple form of storing carbon. More general, carbon sinks is the term used in climate science to describe a place where CO2 is fixed. This can be for example in wood or in peatland. Some sinks keep the carbon longer than others. This is why we develop value chains that store carbon preferably in solid structures. Wooden buildings can do the job, land and soil can store a lot of carbon, but we can also turn CO2 into plastics and recycle this into building blocks or roads. This way everything we create becomes a carbon storage.
Mapping of one of our emerging value chains.
So we start from the methods that have the potential to scale and add value. We create business ecosystems where value chains grow. Our Foundation nurtures our science based plan and curates who can join us. We arrange for funding and clear communication. If you want to invest, donate or join us, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Take part in our plan to draw 1500 gigaton CO2 out of the atmosphere this century and restore the global carbon balance. Please contact us if you can help to improve on our plan. Join or invest in Climate Cleanup business ecosystems, donate to support the foundation, and stay tuned.