11.11.2011

Climeworks supported by Virgin Earth Challenge

Launched by Richard Branson in February 2007, the Virgin Earth Challenge is a $25 million initiative for the successful commercialisation of ways of taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and keeping them out with no countervailing impacts. Last week Virgin Earth Challenge announced the 11 companies it will support. One of them is Climeworks from Zurich.

Launched by Richard Branson in February 2007, the Virgin Earth Challenge (VEC) is a $25 million initiative for the successful commercialisation of ways of taking greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and keeping them out with no countervailing impacts. After a diligent technical review process covering more than 2,600 submissions, the VEC has identified 11 leading organisations as its current shortlist. One of them is Climeworks from Zurich.

The VEC is currently looking to bring in partners to help it bridge the gap between these pioneering ventures and commercially viable businesses. “We are collaborating with other groups to help responsibly further the work being done by these organisations,” explained Dr. Alan Knight, VEC Director. “There’s no silver bullet but each option can do its bit. We are looking at how we can make sure the Virgin Earth Challenge is a useful catalyst for all of the good work out there.”

“Beyond the potential of sustainably taking carbon out of the air and keeping it out, each technique has its own potential applications, markets, challenges and opportunities,” he added.

The leading organisations bring expertise and solutions from a wide range of areas which includes air capture, biochar, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, enhanced weathering on land, and land management. It is hoped that by finding different ways of collaborating with these organisations, VEC will provide them with new levels of support whilst advancing the entire concept of carbon negativity and recycling, as well as achieving further traction in the climate change debate.

David Addison, VEC Research Executive said “Currently all of these concepts have varying hurdles but these issues need to be discussed and explored if everybody’s work is to sustainably advance to the full commercial proof of concept stages. It has been a privilege getting to know the leading organisations and VEC are looking forward to working with them further.”

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