One billion for the climate
Our two co-founders, Jan and Christoph, met on their first day of university at ETH Zurich and quickly became friends. Aside from their love of engineering, they both shared a passion for alpine sports and spent much time in the Swiss Alps. Here, they experienced the effects of climate change first-hand. Shocked by the retreat of the glaciers, they vowed to do everything they could to tackle climate change.
Together, Jan and Christoph embarked on a journey toward a solution that would empower everyone to take climate action. As engineers at heart, they poured their efforts into working on a technology called direct air capture, a way to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air. As a result, Climeworks was founded in 2009 and is now the leader in direct air capture (DAC) technology.
Why direct air capture?
In recent years, climate action has experienced a paradigm shift. It’s now recognized that drastically reducing emissions alone won’t be enough to halt climate change. The IPCC reports show that drastic emissions reductions are more important than ever, but on top of this, carbon dioxide removal is needed to get the world to net zero and keep global warming below 1.5 °C.
But it’s no longer just the scientists saying this; individuals and businesses also agree. We need many carbon dioxide removal solutions working together to prevent further global warming and restore balance to our climate. Other approaches to remove carbon include afforestation and reforestation (trees store carbon dioxide as they grow), bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage (known as BECCS), or enhanced weathering (fast-tracking the carbon capture process in minerals). The global capacity to store carbon dioxide is vast and lies between 5 and 30 trillion tons.
As a carbon dioxide removal solution, Climeworks’ direct air capture and storage (DAC+S) is particularly effective because it’s highly efficient, permanent, safe, and measurable.