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Air Canada Invests In Direct Air Carbon Capture Technology

The science is becoming clear that if we are to have any chance of halting catastrophic climate change, we will need to reduce not only the amount of CO2 we are putting out in the atmosphere but also capture the emissions that we are causing. Preferably even the ones we have already contributed to. Our current best bet to succeed in this is to scale direct air carbon capture technology (DACC). On Thursday, Air Canada announced that it had invested in Canadian climate solutions company Carbon Engineering (CE), currently the world’s largest DACC research and development facility in Squamish, British Columbia.

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The funds, CA$6.75 million (US$5.06 million), are provided in the form of an equity investment/loan and come from Air Canada’s Climate Action Plan fund of CA$50 million (US$37.5 million). In September, the airline pledged US$5 million from the fund to Swedish electric aircraft developer Heart Aerospace for the purchase of its updated 30-seater zero-emission battery-powered aircraft, the ES-30.

Photo: Carbon Engineering


Innovative and long-term solutions

Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer at Air Canada, commented on the latest investment in the carrier’s commitment to counteracting aviation’s impact on global warming,

“We remain focused on seeking innovative, long-term, sustainable GHG emissions reduction solutions for aviation, and carbon capture is one we have outlined in our strategy to achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Last year, we became the first Canadian airline to sign an MOU with CE to explore carbon capture scalability and other initiatives for our industry. We are proud to invest in CE to further advance new, transformational technologies towards carbon removal commercially.”

Air Canada Heart Aerospace ES-30

Photo: Air Canada

Air Canada is not the only major aviation industry company to support Carbon Engineering. At the same time the airline announced its investment, so did behemoth aerospace manufacturer Airbus. CE has also attracted investments from HP, Chevron Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp., Canadian billionaires Peter J. Thomson and Murray Edwards, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Airbus has previously committed to the purchase of 400,000 tonnes of carbon removal credits from Occidental’s subsidiary, 1PointFive’s DAC facility in Houston, Texas. The plant is intended to be operational in 2025 and will have a CO2 removal capacity of one million tonnes a year. 1PointFive and Carbon Engineering also have a partnership agreement in place to help execute large numbers of DACC projects around the world – the aim is 100 direct air capture plants globally by 2035.

What do you think of the potential of direct air carbon capture? Will it scale enough to help us avoid the most disastrous effects of climate change? Click the blue button below and share your take.

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