Science agrees that in order to limit global warming to pre-industrial levels, drastic emission reductions will be needed, but that alone won’t be enough: we need to actively remove historic CO₂ from the atmosphere. While offsets prevent additional CO₂ from entering the atmosphere, only carbon dioxide removal actively removes CO₂ that has already been emitted, thus reducing the amount of CO₂ in the air. Chris Larsen, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Ripple, has signed a groundbreaking agreement to remove 300 tons of CO₂ from the air with Climeworks to help scale up the carbon dioxide removal market.
Around the globe, businesses and individuals are setting net zero targets to help fight climate change. This also means that more and more people are looking for measurable and permanent solutions to minimize their carbon footprint. The term that is most widely known to reduce a carbon footprint is ‘offsetting.’
But what exactly is an offset? Simply said, when buying carbon offsets, you pay someone else to emit less, for example by not cutting down trees. However, your personal emissions still enter the atmosphere. Carbon offsetting is a trading system based on investments in a variety of projects that prevent emissions from entering the atmosphere, those projects can involve everything from protecting existing ecosystems to funding solar parks. However, the trust in traditional carbon offsetting schemes is vanishing, as investigative journalists are bringing information to the surface causing leading sellers of offsets to investigate their own projects (here).
It is of utmost importance that no further CO₂ emissions will be added to the atmosphere as humanity has already emitted too much. However, there are still historic and unavoidable emissions that need to be addressed. Carbon dioxide removal via Climeworks direct air capture and storage offers the most permanent solution. With Climeworks’ carbon dioxide removal, CO₂ is captured from the air. The CO₂ is then pumped underground where it is stored safely and permanently for thousands of years. By offering this service to both businesses and individuals, Climeworks empowers everyone to take effective climate action.
After purchases by large corporations like Microsoft and Stripe, pioneering individuals are also taking action to remove CO₂ from the air. One of the first is Chris Larsen. The angel investor and Executive Chairman of Ripple makes a groundbreaking effort in removing CO₂ from the air with Climeworks: he purchased the incredible amount of 300 tons of CO₂ permanently removed from the air. After intensive research on how to reduce his CO₂ footprint in the most effective way possible, Chris decided to go with Climeworks. The safety, permanence and measurability of Climeworks’ technology solution convinced him to buy a significant amount of carbon dioxide removal through the Larsen Lam Climate Change Foundation. This inspiring purchase will not only significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the Larsen-Lam family, but also help kickstart the market for this much-needed climate technology.
The Difference between Carbon Offsets and Carbon Removals
Climeworks’ direct air capture and storage solution differs from these forms of carbon offsets. Instead, it is classified as carbon dioxide removal, or carbon removal. While carbon offset schemes allow you to “make up” for your emissions, Climeworks’ carbon removal service delivers real, measurable impact by permanently removing the CO₂ you emitted from the air (removal of historic or unavoidable emissions).