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Leading brands unite for a greener future! Investing $7M in startups, they aim to pioneer carbon removal techniques. A step closer to a sustainable world?

Stripe, Shopify, and H&M Group have collectively invested $7 million in carbon removal initiatives through a dozen new startups. This endeavor was orchestrated by Frontier, a public benefit company under Stripe, which was established in April 2022 to foster the growth of the carbon removal industry and ensure its future demand.

The startups involved in this project are employing a variety of techniques to remove carbon dioxide from the environment. For instance, Alkali Earth uses alkaline byproducts from industrial processes to create carbon sinks in gravel on roads, while CarbonBlue leverages calcium to eliminate dissolved carbon dioxide in water bodies. 

Another startup, Mati, is experimenting with the application of silicate rock powder on rice paddy farms in India, a process that reacts with water and carbon dioxide to produce dissolved carbon.

According to CNBC

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Frontier has been facilitating carbon removal purchases for its member companies through different pathways, including pre-purchase and offtake agreements. The recent $7 million investment is a series of pre-purchase agreements, aiming to support early-stage carbon removal companies. The amount of carbon projected to be removed through this initiative ranges from 58 to 1,666 tons, varying based on the startup involved.

Frontier has also secured over $1 billion from its member companies for larger offtake agreements, targeting later-stage companies. These agreements involve substantial purchases, with payments being made as the carbon is effectively removed and stored. One notable agreement includes a $53 million deal with Charm Industrials to eradicate 112,000 tons of CO2 between 2024 and 2030.

Joanna Klitzke, Frontier's procurement and ecosystem strategy lead, emphasized the importance of the pre-purchase program in nurturing early-stage companies. She highlighted that the initiative is a crucial step towards achieving "gigaton scale removal" in the future. Klitzke also noted a promising growth in the field, witnessing a surge in both the quality and diversity of applications from various geographical regions.

Despite the encouraging progress, the current efforts are still in the nascent stages, removing only a minuscule fraction of the global carbon emissions. According to the International Energy Agency, humanity released 36.8 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2022 solely for energy production. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asserts that while carbon dioxide removal is not a replacement for immediate and substantial emission reductions, it remains a vital component in all modeled scenarios to restrict global warming to 2 degrees Celsius or lower by 2100.

Stripe has also announced additional funding of $700,000 for research and development grants and partnerships with climate tech accelerators to further support carbon removal startups.

In light of the developments, Klitzke maintains a hopeful outlook, emphasizing the role of carbon removal in addressing legacy emissions without serving as an offset or excuse for the fossil industry. She envisions a future where carbon removal aligns with the primary climate goal of "really, really deep, deep emission reductions and fossil fuel phase out."

Samira is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, but deep inside, her heart is a nomad! She's a state champion debater, a public speaker, a scriptwriter, a theatre actress, but most importantly — A GREEN CITIZEN! She thinks of herself as a storyteller who thrives on enjoying the life at fullest and telling everyone the tales of life.

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