Well done. I already am climate-active, but you inspired me to step it up a notch!
Our ready-made, high-quality portfolios include carbon removal in the ocean, called Blue Carbon. Oceans are a natural carbon emissions sink and have huge additional removal potential. Oceanic carbon removal solutions are a mix of nature-based and tech-enabled approaches.
How does it work?
The main approaches that use the oceans to store more carbon include biomass growing and sinking, Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement as well as filtering CO2 out of sea water. Some are more established than others.
We like to think of them relative to their better known land-based CDR cousins: reforestation, Enhanced Rock Weathering and DAC but in the ocean. Of course there are some differences.
Solutions range from growing algae, seaweed or other sea-plants, then sinking them to the bottom to store the carbon, to adding alkaline rocks to absorb carbon as well as reduce the damaging acidity caused by higher concentrations of carbon dixoide in the water, or filtering out CO2 from seawater. Also, coastal mangrove reforestation projects store more carbon than their land-based equivalents.
Why do we like it?
The oceans already absorb about 25% of our carbon emissions per year. Climate Change would be much worse without all the work they've been doing. Enhancing and growing the ocean's huge potential to store carbon can be a key tool in actively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for hundreds of years, if not longer.
As a key co-benefit, we also have the opportunity to support the wider ocean ecosystem while we do it. For more detail on how we choose solutions, check out our .
We're delighted to be working with the inspiring Running Tide, a leading Growth Stage CDR company. From their USA base they're working on a range of ocean-based carbon removal solutions. This includes growing and sinking algae on automated buoys out at sea, enhanced alkalinity and weathering. We love their data-driven and science-backed approach to improving ocean health in everything they do. .
We're delighted to be working with the incredible Seaweed Generation. A Pilot Stage project based in the UK and Caribbean, they are using automated robotics to sink problematic seaweed. Their robot, the AlgaRay, records video, GPS and environmental data for each event, which is delivered as evidence of removal. In doing this, the AlgaRay moves carbon dioxide from the fast carbon cycle, into the deep ocean slow carbon cycle, where it is locked away for hundreds of years. .
Learn more by clicking on a partner to discover how the solution works and their company's progress.
We love questions! We want you to feel 100% comfortable and excited about joining our Carbon Removal Portfolio. It's something we wished existed but couldn't find, so we made it!
Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) is anything that pulls planet-heating carbon dixoide out of the air and stores it safely for a period of time. The longer the better.
It's a range of solutions that include various Nature-based, some tech-enabled or nature-inspired and fully engineered approaches and technologies. For example:
Forests and oceans are crucial natural carbon sinks which already draw down and lock away huge amounts of emissions. They'll be a part of the solution, but likely only about 20-30% of the removal we need.
On the more technological and engineered side, you might have heard about things like Direct Air Capture, Bio-oil, Biochar or Enhanced Weathering or Ocean Blue Carbon. These approaches, and others being worked on, are going to be need to fill the gap.
Our CDR portfolio is a blend of different carbon removal solutions, mixed together to make it an affordable cost per tonne. .
We believe this approach is ideal, based on the science-backed pathways to support growing the global carbon removal capacity to gigatonnes per year.
Combined with large scale global decarbonization, we need to reach about 10 billion tonnes of annual removal by 2050. There is no silver bullet solution and no one category or company will be big enough, which is why we take a portfolio approach to invest in a range of approaches.
Following the science-backed approach to Net Zero we advocate for 90% emissions reductions and decarbonization from current levels (about 50 gigatonnes of CO2e per year). Then using high permanence removals for the 10% hard-to-reduce remaining emissions.
Our angle on CDR is that even for that 10% it's a huge lift from where we are. Investing and growing the industry now is crucial.
If our goal is to build up the carbon removal industry to be the size we'll need by 2050 it needs to grow about 40%+ every year. It's not something that we can switch on overnight, it's something we'll have to build-up over time.
Not so much. Offsetting has been traditionally used to counterbalance the continued release of emissions, which only adds to the challenge of slowing and then reversing the increase in global average temperatures.
The vast majority (cough - 95% - cough) of offsets available don't remove carbon. Some may be good projects and have other societal benefits that aren't primarily about removing the gigatonnes of harmful gases we humans have pumped out.
Where carbon removal is different is that the only reason many of the technologies exist is to take out and sequester carbon dioxide - from the air or elsewhere - for hundreds to thousands of years, so it can't contribute to the continued heating of the planet and all the impacts of that.
Carbon removal is what's called highly additional, meaning the primary reason it exists is to do exactly as its name suggests.
This said, carbon removal can be used to offset emissions, though this should be only as part of a concerted effort to reduce as large a chunk of emissions as possible. It can also be used to remove older emissions that happened in the past.
We think that now is the time to fund and invest in carbon removal. Even if it is still more expensive than traditional offsets and it's not always viable to buy the same tonnes, it works in the way we need by literally removing the carbon dioxide so it can't contribute to climate change.
Find out more about and the .
There are a whole range of reasons. To us, some of the most compelling are:
- So the industry reaches about 10 billion tonnes of capacity by 2050 - the "net" bit of Net Zero
- The ratio of carbon removal in the Voluntary Carbon Markets needs to increase (compared to other approaches like avoidance or reduction)
- No one carbon removal type or company is going to be big enough on its own, we need a range of solutions and providers
- When combined with reducing emissions from everything we do, carbon removal will be a key tool to slow and then reverse climate change
- Funding and investing in it now helps to reduce the cost per tonne it takes to remove the carbon. Decreasing the cost by increasing demand will support the growth in supply of high-quality carbon removal options and capacity volume.
Our ready-made, curated, portfolio of high quality carbon dioxide removal (CDR) solutions is live. It aims for the highest permanence-for-the-$-per-tonne that we can find.
We're excited to be working with an inspiring group of global CDR companies taking the fight to the Climate Crisis. They're doing amazing work that holds a tonne - pun intended - of promise.
Well done. I already am climate-active, but you inspired me to step it up a notch!
Peter H 🇺🇸
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Really enjoyed Intro to Climate!
Looking forward to the next one!
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You’re doing the grunt work so others don’t have to! #climatehero.
The Climate Crisis doesn't have to be a horror movie. It can become a story about hope, opportunity, personal choice, and collective effort. Nobody has to be perfect, but we all have to do something!