The Economist Group has become the first media group to include carbon dioxide (CO2) removal in its sustainability strategy with Climeworks’ scalable and permanent solution, joining industry leaders such as Microsoft.

With scaling up direct air capture (DAC) and storage technology being seen as a priority by both scientists and opinion leaders, The Economist has spearheaded the DAC campaign for several years in its coverage.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that reducing global carbon emissions is not enough and that unavoidable and historic emissions must be addressed by removing them from the air and storing them safely and permanently.

According to the IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), removal of CO2 from the air needs to be scaled up to 810 billion tonnes by 2100.

There is a reliance on large-scale CO2 removal technologies such as Climeworks’ DAC when it comes to climate scenarios that limit global warming to 1.5C.

These technologies remove CO2 from the air to be stored permanently and does not compete with arable land.

In 2017, The Economist addressed the fact that DAC must be scaled up in order to help scrub greenhouse gases from the air, emphasising the scientific consensus outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The issue was that the costs for large-scale CO2 removal were considered too high to be commercially viable. Since then, Climeworks’ has become the first DAC company able to offer the service of CO2 removal to everyone.

Speaking about the technology, Christoph Gebald, co-CEO and co-founder of Climeworks, said, “We are very grateful that our technology is a key component in The Economist Group’s sustainability strategy. To see that opinion leaders are walking the talk is an inspirational step in the fight against climate change.”

The Economist realised that purchasing CO2 removal credits can help to scale up DAC technology, leading to lower overall costs.

Lara Boro, CEO, The Economist Group, said, “Investing in carbon removal with Climeworks is a complementary feature of The Economist Group’s sustainability strategy, as our primary focus is on emissions reduction.”

“We believe that nascent technologies, such as DAC, will be an important component in the mix of solutions for global emissions to reach net zero by 2050 and it lies in our nature to press for progress.”

The integration of Climeworks’ into The Economist Group’s sustainability strategy will also involve drastically reducing its own carbon footprint. Currently the amount of CO2 removed will equate to 13% of The Economist Group’s Scope 1 & 2 emissions in 2019, leading the way to CO2 removal becoming an important component in The Economist Group’s sustainability strategy.