Climeworks gets one step closer to its vision of inspiring 1 billion people to remove carbon dioxide from the air by becoming part of the Science Museum’s exhibition Our Future Planet in London. The exhibition showcases different carbon capture solutions and runs from 19 May 2021 (UK Government guidelines permitting) to 4 September 2022 in time for the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference COP26, taking place in Glasgow in November. With its exhibition, the Science Museum creates awareness around the need to actively remove CO₂ from the atmosphere in addition to reducing current emissions. Both are required to get to net-zero emissions globally.
Our Future Planet features nature-based methods to remove carbon dioxide from the air, such as trees, as well as technological solutions like direct air capture. Apart from that, the exhibition showcases CO₂ storage options, possible uses of air-captured CO₂ and systems that capture CO₂ directly at the point of emission.
Climeworks lends one of its first CO₂ collectors to the Science Museum – one of the key objects in the exhibition. Thus, visitors can see closely the technology that Climeworks is already operating in 14 facilities across Europe, with Orca being its 15th and largest one. By being part of Our Future Planet, Climeworks wants to highlight the importance of technological solutions to remove CO₂, which are needed in addition to natural removal solutions and emission reduction if the world wants to get to net-zero emissions.
This is due to a number of reasons: while planting trees comes with added benefits such as increased biodiversity, it cannot be easily scaled due to its water and surface area requirements, competing with other land uses. Also, since trees store CO₂ in their biomass while growing, it cannot always be guaranteed that the CO₂ is removed permanently: wildfires or deforestation can destroy forests and release CO₂ back into the atmosphere. Direct air capture is a complementary approach to planting trees: it is highly scalable due to its small physical footprint and removing CO₂ via direct air capture is permanent and fully measurable.
By being part of Our Future Planet, Climeworks wants to demonstrate that anyone can play a role in scaling solutions like direct air capture. We strive to make our solution accessible to everyone by allowing people to join our mission and remove CO₂ with our technology, which is showcased in the Science Museum. We are therefore grateful for the opportunity to be part of Our Future Planet, as this creates more awareness around technological solutions to climate change.