JPMorgan Announces Ambitious Carbon Removal Investment

Could this make direct air capture more widespread?

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JPMorgan is making a big investment in carbon removal.
Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images

When it comes to addressing climate change, reducing carbon emissions is — understandably — the highest-profile tool available to governments, corporations and individuals. But it’s not the only tool out there; there’s also direct air capture, which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Currently, the cost of this process has led to challenges in getting it up and running on a large scale. But all of that may be about to change.

As Bloomberg reports (via AutoBlog), JPMorgan Chase recently announced that it would donate $200 million to carbon removal efforts, with $20 million of that going to the nonprofit Climeworks. Climeworks’s website touts its work removing carbon from the the air, where it’s stored in an underground facility in Iceland. And JPMorgan isn’t the only large corporation that’s opted to work with them — the nonprofit also lists the likes of UBS, Swarovski and Microsoft among its partners.

Climeworks isn’t the only entity JPMorgan is working with on carbon removal. Bloomberg also reports that they’ve contributed $75 million to the public benefit corporation Frontier, an initiative founded by several of the same companies presently working with Climeworks, including Stripe and Shopify.

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Frontier’s business model works by guaranteeing future demand for a particular industry — in this case, carbon removal. Its website provides some specifics, noting that its team “facilitates purchases from high-potential carbon removal companies on behalf of buyers.”

As for what this will all look like in practice, it’ll bear careful monitoring. One of the big challenges facing direct air capture has, historically, been the cost of it — so an increase in funds being invested in it could go a long way towards making this potentially transformative technology more scalable in the future.

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