Friday, July 19, 2024

Carbon, companies and claims of a net-zero climate future

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As some of the world’s most recognizable (and fossil-fuel dependent) brands end the year with grand announcements about climate commitments, analysts have been quick to respond to their ambitions with questions about what their plans will actually achieve in terms of delivering a carbon-free future.

First came the news that United Airlines plans to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100 percent by 2050. That’s a cause for optimism, especially where the global aviation industry is concerned. But a closer look shows that United’s plans really involve a multimillion-dollar investment in 1PointFive, itself a partnership between the Occidental oil company and its carbon storage arm, and the United States-based Rusheen Capital Management.

The deal depends on Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology developed by Carbon Engineering in Canada, and relies on a future plant facility designed to bury a million tons of carbon annually in the Permian Basin.

United says DAC is “one of the few proven ways to physically correct for aircraft emissions,” and can scale to capture millions and potentially billions of metric tons of CO2annually.

“The captured COwill then be permanently, safely and securely stored deep underground by Occidental, a process certified by independent third parties. The commitment – the first to be announced in the aviation industry – will help 1PointFive build the first industrial-sized Direct Air Capture plant in the United States,” adds United in its statement. Read more…

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