Online payment company Stripe, valued at over £30 billion, has already made numerous steps and promises to reduce its environmental impact, including investing in energy efficiency projects and spending an additional £800k ($1 million) in carbon removal technologies every year.
Most recently, however, the company has chosen to actively support technologies which help pull carbon out of the air. It’s something the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Academies of Sciences and scores of researchers have agreed we must urgently start doing to prevent catastrophic climate change. While many companies and governments are now pushing for increased tree-planting – a proven and long term strategy to removing CO2 – Stripe have revealed the first four carbon capturing initiatives to receive £200k each.
ClimeWorks is a Swiss company that uses renewable energy to power machines that capture carbon straight out of the air and inject it deep underground where it hardens. CarbonCure is a Canadian company that takes CO2 emitted from industrial processes and locks it into concrete as part of the production. Charm Industrial injects bio-oil – a carbon rich fluid produced by burning left over biowaste – deep underground. And then there’s Project Vesta’s pilot study to see whether the ocean’s waves can be safely enhanced to pull more CO2 from the air.
While these projects are not cheap, in early development, and untested, Stripe are supporting a variety of different ways to pull CO2 out of the carbon cycle and sequester it for good. Some of the projects may prove to be unviable, and in some cases almost ridiculous in their aspirations. But with no silver bullet to halting climate change, it is vital that ideas from across all industries, technologies and sectors are supported to see what they can achieve.