M&G announces it has invested in Climeworks, a global leader in direct air capture, as the firm secures CHF600 million (circa. £500m) from investors to accelerate its growth and to help scale the market for carbon removal.
Powered solely by renewable energy, Climeworks’ direct air capture plants capture carbon dioxide from the air, which is then either returned to earth, stored safely and permanently away for millions of years, or upcycled into climate-friendly products such as carbon-neutral fuels and materials.
Founded in 2009, Climeworks sells carbon removals certificates to corporations as well as individuals, providing decade-long contracts which are crucial to help scale the market. Its carbon removal can be accurately measured and is characterised by the strongest standards of additionality and permanence while avoiding social and environmental harms.
In September last year, Climeworks launched its Orca plant in Iceland – the world’s largest direct air capture and storage plant – thereby bringing large-scale direct air capture technology to reality. At this plant, along with its storage partner Carbfix, carbon dioxide is mixed with water and is pumped deep underground where it reacts with the basaltic rock formations to turn into stone, permanently removed from the atmosphere.
The investment has been made by M&G’s Catalyst strategy, which is investing up to £5 billion into innovative privately-owned global businesses working to create a more sustainable world.
Jan Wurzbacher, co-founder and co-CEO of Climeworks, says: “We founded Climeworks with the vision to provide the world a tech that has the potential to reverse climate change. Accelerating the scale up of carbon removal capacity will play a crucial role in global efforts to keep global warming under 1.5°C, positively impacting the lives of billions of people. And this is what we will do starting now.”
Alex Seddon, Head of M&G’s Catalyst Team, comments: “We are excited to be investing in Climeworks, a company that we believe is the leading independent operator in the direct air capture sector. Emissions removal is an essential complement to emissions reduction, and this technology has the potential to provide the requisite scale to meaningfully contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement goals.”