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Swiss Re among founding buyers in the coal removal program



(Reuters) – Swiss Re and banking giant UBS are among five founding buyers of credit from a system set up by a Swiss company to reduce the cost of extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Even with promises of huge emission reductions, many researchers believe that extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by planting forests and using technology will be crucial to meeting the global goals set under the Paris climate agreement to slow down climate change.

The Swiss carbon developer South Pole’s NextGen plant has committed to buy 1 million carbon dioxide removal credits from a series of projects by 2025 to provide them with secure revenue streams and reduce the cost of the technologies.

“With this, we can start moving these technologies down the cost curve; ideally, the price levels you see today will fall in a similar way as we have seen with solar energy,”

; South Pole CEO Renat Heuberger told Reuters in an interview.

The cost of solar modules for renewable solar energy has fallen by about 90% since the end of 2009, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, as technology and supply chains developed.

Current costs for coal removal technology can range from about $ 50 to $ 400 per tonne, depending on the type of project.

Founding buyers in NextGen will include Boston Consulting Group, private bank LGT, shipping company Mitsui OSK Lines, Swiss Re and UBS, South Pole said, without specifying how much credit each company had committed to, or at what price.

Many companies have set emission reduction targets that will require them to purchase carbon offsets or removal credits to compensate for emissions that they cannot reduce themselves.

“This effort is part of MOL’s broader goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050,” said Takeshi Hashimoto, President and CEO of Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. in a statement.


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