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Firms able to pay to suck CO2 out of the air as new carbon removal service launches

CE's pilot plant Direct Air Capture system
CE's pilot plant Direct Air Capture system

A new service that allows companies and individuals to pay to remove carbon from the atmosphere has today been launched.

Carbon Engineering (CE) and BeZero Carbon have joined forces to deliver the new facility, which will allow customers to offset their emissions.

Using BeZero’s online platform, clients can pre-purchase direct air capture (DAC) removal units, using CE’s large scale decarbonisation technology.

The bagged greenhouse gases are then safely stored through geological sequestration.

BeZero has pre-purchased an initial quantity of carbon removal capacity for its customers to buy, either as part of a bundle or as individual DAC units.

The London-based company expects further purchases to follow in line with demand.

It’s the first time CE’s carbon removal service has been available to buy in small quantities, making DAC a more realistic offsetting option for many.

To bring greater transparency and quality assessment to the market, BeZero’s platform also gives customers an additional tool to assess the quality of available solutions.

The BeZero Carbon Rating (BCR) Framework provides customers with an evidence-based, risk assessment of the effectiveness of carbon removal technology.

Ratings, spanning from AAA+ to A, are given based on several factors, including permanence, additionality, and over-crediting.

Currently, CE’s DAC technology is the only solution to qualify for an AAA+ rating.

Earlier this year, CE gave customers the chance to reserve capacity from its large-scale DAC facility, with Shopify snapping up 10,000 tonnes of permanent CO2 removal.

Steve Oldham, CE’s chief executive, said: “Customers in the voluntary carbon market, who are freely choosing to address their carbon emissions, are playing a key role in accelerating the build out of climate infrastructure.

“Across the world, companies are looking for high-integrity solutions to add to their sustainability portfolios and are increasingly seeking to include permanent carbon removal in their net zero plans. We appreciate BeZero’s innovative, science-based efforts to bring clarity and transparency to the industry and welcome them as a retailer for our permanent carbon removal service.”

DAC and geological storage provides a means to reverse the emissions process, removing carbon from the atmosphere and safely locking it away.

For industries that will be difficult or impossible to decarbonise entirely, such as aviation and shipping, it will be an invaluable tool.

Each of CE’s DAC facilities can be built to capture one million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year – equivalent to the work of 40 million trees.

The Canadian firm is currently exploring deploying a DAC system in the north-east, which would then be hooked up to the St Fergus gas plant.

The facility is home to the Acorn project, which is assessing the feasibility of using oil and gas pipelines to store carbon.

It is hoped Acorn could be coupled up with the DAC system to complete the offsetting process.

Meanwhile, the first commercial facility to utilise CE’s technology is being developed in the US by 1PointFive, with construction expected to begin in 2022 and start-up in late 2024.

When fully operational, it will be the world’s first million-tonne DAC plant.

Tommy Ricketts, BeZero’s Co-Founder and CEO, said: “We believe not all carbon credits are created equal. CE’s AAA+ rated removal solution is the best carbon credit we have rated across the entire voluntary market.

“It is precisely the type of high-integrity, measurable, and verifiable option customers need to address their carbon footprint. Making it available in any size, also means it is now accessible to buyers of all budgets – a first for both CE and BeZero.”

Sebastien Cross, Co-Founder at BeZero, added: “CE’s DAC technology is the future of climate action, and we believe the offset market can play an important role in financing it.

“We are especially excited to have used the BeZero Carbon Rating to design the world’s first premium nature-based and technology removals basket for clients.”

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