Carbon removal deal hailed as example to financial services sector

LGT, The world’s largest family-owned private banking and asset management group, has signed a ten-year carbon removal agreement to remove 9,000 tons of CO2 from the air in the largest-ever direct air capture agreement signed by a bank.

LGT’s deal with Climeworks is the third ten-year agreement signed by Climeworks within just five months, and the company says it is a clear example of how the financial services can be at the heart of the carbon capture industry.

Climeworks said recent developments, such as new initiatives launched during COP26 and the release of the new SBTi Net Zero Standard, prove that high-quality carbon removal must be an essential component of net zero roadmaps in addition to emissions reduction efforts.

“The financial services sector shows leadership in advancing the carbon removal market: LGT is the latest and largest example, following earlier purchases from Stripe, Klarna and Square,” said Climeworks. “One of the four goals of this year’s COP26 was to mobilise the finance sector for its potential to drive the carbon removal market through both investments strategies and its own plans to deliver net zero climate targets.”

It added to truly achieve net-zero emissions, emissions reductions must come first; however, removing CO2 is needed in addition to both neutralize unavoidable emissions and remove excess CO2 from the air. The private sector acts as a key enabler driving both reductions and removals by helping to advance innovative solutions.

Powered solely by renewable energy, Climeworks’ direct air capture plants capture CO2 from the air. In Iceland, Climeworks’ storage partner Carbfix mixes the CO2 with water and pumps it deep underground where it reacts with the basaltic rock formations and mineralizes: the CO2 literally turns into stone and is thus permanently removed. Climeworks’ technology is scalable and does not compete with arable land. This September, Climeworks launched its new large-scale direct air capture and storage plant “Orca” in Iceland, bringing large-scale direct air capture technology to reality.

“We are proud and excited to enter this carbon removal agreement with LGT. It is very strong for two reasons: first, it is the third ten-year agreement for Climeworks,” said Christoph Gebald, co-CEO and co-founder of Climeworks.  “It shows the increasing long-term demand for our solution, and second, it is the largest-ever direct air capture agreement signed by a bank. LGT, and the financial services industry more broadly, shows true leadership in advancing the carbon removal market.”

“We have to try in all areas and with all means to improve our CO2 balance in order not to lose the fight against climate change,” Prinz Max von und zu Liechtenstein, chairman of LGT explained. “For this purpose, Climeworks develops new technological solutions that are scalable and have good further development potential. For LGT, supporting innovative companies with promising technologies is an elementary component in the fight against climate change. As a company that aims to act responsibly and sustainably, it is important to us to achieve a net-zero CO2 balance as soon as possible. Our long-term partnership with Climeworks is a further step in this direction.”

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